• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Combating Mental Health Stigma in the Armed Forces


Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
Combating Mental Health Stigma in the Armed Forces

Research shows continued stigma of mental health issues in the military

Over the last decade, the U.S. Department of Defense and its international alliances have increased efforts to improve mental health services for military members. Through establishing international campaigns, training, and educational awareness, the governments have updated guidelines to not only enhance the quality of life for military members but ensure effective mission readiness.
However, stigma is still embedded through a tough and resilient culture where personnel are reluctant to ask for help. Though innovative policies and interactive training have welcomed more to report mental health issues, the fear of being negatively labeled and job security remains the top reasons personnel will not self-report.

A 2015 study determined that approximately 60 percent of American active-duty members who suffered from mental health issues did not report symptoms due to stigma. Personnel felt their leadership would perceive them “differently” or see them as “weak.” In 2018, a Canadian study concluded a disproportionate risk of mental health stigmatized perceptions compared to those who suffered physical health issues while on active duty. Research found stigma was not a primary factor within the Canadian military and that physical health concerns were more of an issue, as medical conditions immediately impacted mission readiness. However, the British military had perceptions of stigmatization such as “weakness” and “difficulty in appointments,” resulting in a hesitancy to seek help for mental health challenges.