Monday 27 April 2020, saw the launch of a new platform with online tools to help Defence personnel take a more proactive approach to supporting their mental health and mental fitness.
HeadFIT is designed specifically for the Defence community, it provides 24/7 access to self-help tools that can enhance your mood, drive and confidence, and help manage the stresses of everyday life.
HeadFIT has been developed in partnership with The Royal Foundation's Heads Together campaign, the Ministry of Defence, Kings College London, with clinical advice from Dr Vanessa Moulton, and has been spearheaded by The Duke of Sussex.
The Duke said:
"HeadFIT has been almost three years in the making, and I am extremely grateful for everyone who has been on this journey with us. Everyone who has worked on it, to create what we have today, should be incredibly proud and excited for the impact it will have."
"I've long believed the military community should lead the way for the rest of society. For too long we have been waiting for problems to arise and then reacting to them. HeadFIT is a proactive approach to mental fitness, focusing on our own potential to increase our performance, using proven methods in sport science."
"This is about optimisation of self. This is about being the best you can be. This is about gaining an advantage, whether facing an opponent or overcoming a challenging situation. This is about building resilience that will match that of most world class athletes and prepare you for every day stress. To be HeadFIT, is to be at your peak performance."
The Duke of Sussex
The platform has a range of tools, including, breathing exercises, body posture and relaxation techniques that have been designed for everyone across Defence, whether you are: a new recruit, long-serving personnel, a veteran, civilian staff, or serving in uniform. The techniques are designed so they can be easily integrated into their everyday lives.
Helen Helliwell Director Armed Forces People Policy and Defence Mental Health Champion says:
"I am delighted to have worked in partnership with Heads Together on this project. HeadFit complements the single Service initiatives out there but given its accessibility the platform can also benefit the wider Defence community, including Defence civilians, veterans and family members. This absolutely plays in to our Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and it's aim to promote good mental health."
Director Armed Forces People Policy
Officer Commanding the RAF Falcons, Flight Lieutenant Ashley Grey-Smart features in the ‘Breathing Techniques’ tool one of the de-stress categories and commented:
“Breathing techniques enable me to make better decisions.”
Flight Lieutenant Ashley Grey-Smart
The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team
The breathing tools can be accessed here: https://headfit.org/tool/breathing-techniques/