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Mental well-being interventions in the military: The ten key principles
  1. Erin G Lawrence1,
  2. N Jones1,
  3. N Greenberg2,
  4. N T Fear1,
  5. S Wessely1,2,
  6. G Michael1,
  7. S Taylor-Beirne1 and
  8. A Simms1
  1. 1 Academic Department of Military Mental Health, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2 King's Centre for Military Health Research, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Erin G Lawrence, Academic Department of Military Mental Health, Weston Education Centre, King's College London, London SE5 9RJ, UK; erin.g.lawrence{at}


Organisations including the United Kingdom Armed Forces should seek to implement mental health interventions to increase the psychological well-being of their workforce. This editorial briefly presents ten key principles that military forces should consider before implementing such interventions. These include job-focused training; evaluating interventions; the use of internal versus external training providers; the role of leaders; unit cohesion, single versus multiple session psychological interventions; not overgeneralising the applicability of interventions; the need for repeated skills practice; raising awareness and the fallibility of screening.

  • mental health
  • psychiatry
  • adult psychiatry

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  • Contributors The idea for this manuscript arose following discussions between AS, NJ, NG and SW, who then planned the ten key principles outlined in this editorial. AS and NJ wrote the first draft of the paper. NG, SW, GM, STB, NTF and EGL provided comments and redrafted as required. EGL wrote the abstract and made the major revision of the paper, which was amended into an editorial piece. All authors have seen and approved the final version of this manuscript for submission.

  • Funding This editorial was funded by Ministry of Defence (JFC/7A/00005).

  • Competing interests AS, NJ, GM and STB work for the MoD. EGL and NTF are funded on grants from the UK MoD. SW has also received grant funding from the MoD. NG and NTF are trustees of veterans’ charities. NG is the lead for military and veterans’ health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.