Good mental health is vital to a soldier’s operational effectiveness. There are many ways a soldier’s mental health can be affected.
Deployment is critical to take into consideration; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is sometimes the first thing that comes to mind, but this is just one of the many struggles that may come from deployment. Separation from family during training, exercises, and deployment all can have a negative effect. Soldiers who are parents, husbands and wives, often must miss birthdays, anniversaries and more. Although this is not always detrimental, it does put a strain on relationships and communication.
Soldiers are also individuals and the same struggles that impact any other person’s mental health can affect theirs too: a broken home, the death of a friend, work stress, depression and more.
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 15 May to 21 May. Our Scripture Readers work alongside serving military personnel day-to-day and are regularly involved in providing help and guidance to soldiers struggling with mental health. Due to their own previous military experience, Scripture Readers are skilled in drawing alongside struggling soldiers; they provide counselling, a listening ear, and can give both practical and spiritual aid.