Mental health support for explosive ordnance disposal personnel

    The UK’s explosive ordnance disposal community comprises personnel from the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, as well as SO15 (Metropolitan Police Counter Terror Unit), and forms a crucial branch of the country’s defence capabilities.

    In light of growing threats from terror and jihadist groups both at home and abroad, the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) community faces a greater number of incidents than ever. In fact, the EOD community attends more than 2,500 suspect devices, WWII-era bombs and terrorist situations each year, meaning that the men and women who are members of specialist military EOD units are continually on the front line, protecting the country.

    This constant exposure to highly stressful situations can have a lasting effect – both physical and mental – on individuals. Felix Fund – the bomb disposal charity – supports these brave professionals by providing much-needed welfare support and financial assistance, as well as a range of other services directed at ensuring the health and wellbeing of serving and former service people.

    How does Felix Fund help explosive ordnance disposal personnel?

    In this booklet, Felix Fund explains how its financial support for veterans is targeted to provide maximum impact; for example, the charity details its efforts to help with home adaptations for injured veterans, including the installation of stair lifts and specialist furniture. Additionally, the charity funds adventure training activities, which aim to get soldiers involved with new sports or activities, to help them relieve stress in their time off.

    To support better mental health among soldiers, Felix Fund has provided ‘Dashboard Courses’ since 2016. These courses focus on training in mindfulness techniques to help serving military personnel to recognise the warning signs of stress and other mental health illnesses, and aim to provide a totally relaxed environment which offers soldiers time away from their high-pressure jobs. More than 200 explosive ordnance disposal and search personnel have already undertaken these courses, which have received a 98% positive response.

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