News story

New mental health support app for Service personnel

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new iPhone app has been launched to provide serving Armed Forces personnel with mental health support and information.

The app, called Joining Forces, is available to personnel all over the world and provides tailored information on 11 mental health problems including anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression, as well as highlighting where to access help.

Interactive videos from a lead psychiatrist are also available through the app and outline the signs of mental health problems to encourage personnel to seek advice if they feel they have any of these symptoms.

Joining Forces has been developed by a network of NHS Trusts led by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. It can be used anywhere and is available now for free download for iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store.

Joining Forces app single Service homescreens
Joining Forces app single Service homescreens [Pictures: Crown copyright]

Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois said:

One of this government’s top priorities has always been to provide our Service personnel with the best possible mental healthcare and support. As part of this we are fully committed to reducing the stigma of mental illness and this app is just one way of addressing this.

I am delighted that our Service personnel are now able to access the best information on mental health at any time, anywhere, and I hope this app will encourage more personnel to come forward with any mental health problems they might experience.

The Trust lead psychiatrist for the service, Dr Martin Deahl, who is also a serving Territorial Army colonel, said:

There is nothing like it in the app marketplace and it has significant potential to contribute to destigmatising mental health.

An Android version of Joining Forces is currently being developed and is scheduled to be available later this year.