BritishForcesFoundation

Latest News from the BFF

Role to play in mental well-being of troops

February 11, 2012

A report released today, examining the impact of entertainment on the well-being of UK Armed Forces, finds that it plays an important role in sustaining morale, and hence may help protect servicemen against psychological disorders.

The report was written by Edgar Jones, Professor of the History of Medicine and Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London for The British Forces Foundation (BFF), and takes a historical look at the impact of entertainment on troop morale from World War I to the conflict in Afghanistan today.

Professor Jones says: “No single factor can be guaranteed to raise morale, but those that do, will undoubtedly have some effect on mental well-being. Whilst entertainment cannot, and does not, provide absolute protection against the psychological problems associated with war, it does have a role to play in protecting service personnel against mental health problems.” Download the report

Studies conducted of US armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate a clear association between falling morale and rising mental health problems. Research found that over a 12 month tour by US service personnel, morale fell to a low at 10 months, the time at which mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rose to a peak.

UK deployments are much shorter than those of US service personnel and currently stand at six months. To date, mental health problems experienced by UK Armed Forces have remained relatively low – PTSD rates average at 3% but rise to 7% for front-line troops. A number of factors help protect against mental health problems including tours that aren’t excessively long with significant gaps in between for recuperation and training, confidence in commanders and equipment, feeling supported by friends and family, and a good level of social cohesion within the soldier’s unit.

Many factors are indicative of poor morale, such as desertion, absenteeism, disciplinary offences and sickness. Factors that can raise or sustain morale are confidence in commanders, unit cohesion, belief in the task and the fair provision of rest and recreation.

In order for entertainment to have the most positive effect on morale, its provision must be perceived as equitable and fair. The report finds that disproportionate delivery, for example focusing only on rear areas rather than the front-line, poor quality entertainment or entertainment that isn’t tailored to a military audience are likely to do more harm than good.

Professor Jones adds: “Only recently have we started to survey welfare packages delivered to UK troops. We hope that this data will in future allow us to better understand the contribution these packages make to the well-being of service personnel, and quantify how long the effect good quality entertainment has on morale lasts.”

Mark Cann, Director of the BFF says: “We are very pleased with this report as it illustrates the positive impact entertainment can have. Professor Jones opens up important areas for further research but these findings are significant and should be of real benefit to the military and those concerned with the well-being of our Armed Forces.

“Sending the biggest names in entertainment, free, to the frontline as volunteers with the support of the British public has a proven effect on morale, so long as it is carried out in the right way. We at the British Forces Foundation hope this report will bring about greater understanding of what we do and the contribution our work has had. We hope the findings might encourage a review of how military entertainment is conducted in future so that our work may be as effective as possible.”

The report was commissioned at the request of The BFF and carried out by King’s College London. The BFF received specific restricted funding for the report from the D’Oyly Carte Charity Trust and general funding from a number of other organisations that support the charity in order to maintain its independence. Download the report

Report on the BBC website

BBC Radio Lincolnshire Breakfast Show with Rod Whiting

 

Latest News
  • BFF supporters, The Cabling Group, are taking on a madcap marathon effort in the name of charity. Their Battersea P… https://t.co/E6QhgZFKtt
  • It's live!!! Bidding can now commence in the fabulous online auction raising money for BFF and SSAFA at… https://t.co/mI11i0HCmL
  • Fancy a fun night out with friends and family? Don't miss the BFF Classic Comedy Night in London - 8 July 2021. Tab… https://t.co/KTxy7sMMRl
  • Fancy joining Team BFF for the Vitality Big Half marathon in London this year? With the national vaccination progra… https://t.co/OCyMc1Rky8

Recent News

Windsor Castle cricket extravaganza

May 10, 2022

In this Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, The British Forces Foundation (captained by England cricketing legend John Emburey) will play the Royal Household Cricket Club in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Click for full story

Jim Pacey memorial match

April 5, 2022

Sleaford Town Rangers FC recently held a memorial match for one of the club’s founders, Jim Pacey, who sadly passed away in 2019 when celebrating the club’s first ever victory.

Click for full story

Talk with former Chief of the Defence Staff

March 28, 2022

As the world watches on to see how the Ukraine crisis unfolds, The British Forces Foundation has invited General Sir Nick Carter, former Chief of the Defence Staff, to share his insight into that and the challenges the UK’s Armed Forces face today.

Click for full story

Team BFF set for London Marathon

February 21, 2022

Team BFF will be on the starting line for this year’s TCS London Marathon which takes place on Sunday October 2nd.

Click for full story

Challenge the Mayor

February 7, 2022

The Mayor of Bracknell Forest, Councillor Ash Merry, is launching an exciting new initiative, ‘Challenge the Mayor’ to raise money for the British Forces Foundation.

Click for full story

BFF Panto Bus Christmas cheer

January 13, 2022

The BFF Panto Bus hit the road again before Christmas to deliver some festive fun to military families across the UK.

Click for full story

BFF 21st Anniversary Ball

November 8, 2021

The British Forces Foundation celebrated its 21st anniversary in style with a glittering star-studded ball.

Click for full story

Battersea Power Station marathon effort

July 16, 2021

A madcap Battersea Power Station marathon challenge around the streets of London has raised much-appreciated funds for the BFF.

Click for full story
COPYRIGHT 2022 The British Forces Foundation
Web Site Design: Green Chilli Design Ltd