News | World Mental Health Day

What is World Mental Health Day about?

World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and rally efforts in support of mental health.  

This year’s theme is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’, which focuses on inequality in access to mental health services, both locally and globally.  

The Seldom-heard group & mental health

As a seldom-heard group, we recognise children and young people from serving, reservist, and veteran families may face difficulties in accessing specific, tailored help for their mental health and wellbeing needs.  

It’s not that they are not ignored, but more that their unique experiences and needs when it comes to mental health and wellbeing are simply not on the radar of civilian classmates, teachers, or those making important decisions about their future.  

Consultations have also shown that as much as 80% of the children and young people we have talked to have said they experience unique challenges to their mental health and wellbeing, as a result of life in a forces family. 

What are the unique challenges children and young people may experience?

Children and young people may experience a range of positive and challenging experiences during life in a serving, reservist, and veteran family. 

They are woven into the fabric of a global community, which is built upon a strong sense of belonging, lived experience, and solidarity, which can go a long way to develop a unique sense of identity, purpose, and confidence to realise their potential and thrive.  

However, deployment and uncertainty concerning loved ones, bereavement, living with a family member with life-changing physical or psychological wounds, regular relocations, and disrupted friendships can present many unique challenges to mental health and wellbeing.

How is Forces Children Scotland supporting children and young people?

At Forces Children Scotland, we are here to help – we support children and young people from serving, reservist and veteran families to overcome many of the unique challenges to mental health and wellbeing we have mentioned previously. 

We do this by working together with children and young people to co-produce new projects and services. 

Your Mind Matters  

Forces Children Scotland received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust to work directly with its beneficiaries to co-produce new mental health and wellbeing services for peers and wider family.  

Hope is one of our young people co-producing Your Mind Matters with Forces Children Scotland, who said: 

“The mental health and wellbeing of children and young people from forces families are often overlooked. Since joining Your Mind Matters, the sessions have broken up formality and structure to allow me to build rapport with other Armed Forces young people.  

“I hope our digital platform will create a hub for young people to easily access age-appropriate support, as often the support services are aimed at parents, and also engage with peers.” 

We also provide a safe space to either talk about mental health topics on a one-to-one or small group format. 

Listening Spaces 

Last month we launched a pilot project to encourage children, young people and parents from serving, reservist, and veteran families to talk about unique challenges faced to mental health and wellbeing. 

If you know of a child or young person from a serving, reservist, or veteran family who may benefit from our mental health services, please contact: wellbeing@forceschildrenscotland.org.uk