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Air Force: Mental Health

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 28940, tabled on 29 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the level of risk of developing mental health conditions among remote combat pilots; and what safeguards his Department has in place to protect such pilots from any such risk.

Answered on

7 March 2016

The Government is committed to improving the mental health of our Armed Forces and has long recognised that Service life can cause stress. Support to personnel has improved in a number of ways, including providing pre and post-operational stress management training, a wide range of psychiatric and psychological treatments and initiatives such as Decompression, Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) and Post Operational Stress Management.

Trained TRiM providers are embedded in both - 13 Squadron and 39 Squadron, the Royal Air Forces's (RAF) frontline Reaper units based at RAF Waddington and Creech AFB.

For Financial Year 2014-15, out of a total of approximately 180 personnel, there were fewer than five RAF personnel from 13 Squadron or 39 Squadron who were seen for an initial assessment at Ministry of Defence Specialist Mental Health Services. This is a lower rate than the military population as a whole.