Prince Harry: mental health should be at heart of armed forces training

Prince Harry: mental health should be at heart of armed forces training

Prince Harry: mental health should be at heart of armed forces training

While speaking at the Ministry of Defence, the 33-year-old said that employing various mental health strategies could help create a "more confident, focused and ultimately more combat-ready military".

Harry pointed out that mental health is just as vital as physical health, especially for people with high-pressure jobs.

As they renewed their acquaintance at the reception for supporters of the royals' Heads Together mental health campaign, Cooper, an assistance dog who has met Harry several times, climbed on to the prince's chest, as Harry crouched down, and gave him a friendly lick. "It is just as much about mental fitness too", Harry continued.

"This is what the partnership between the MoD and the Royal Foundation is all about -placing mental fitness and mental health at the heart of the training and support provided to the entire defence community".

Harry greeted British war hero Phillip Eaglesham and his service dog, Copper, at a Heads Together event - a mental health initiative set up by Harry, Prince William and Kate.

The hour-long event will also be Kate Middleton's first public appearance since the announcement of her third pregnancy.

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Jon White, a triple amputee former Royal Marines captain overseeing the project at the Royal Foundation, said troops would be shown an annual video featuring veterans and high-profile business people talking about mental fitness.

"Now is the ideal moment for The Royal Foundation to help kick-start the creation of impactful new tools that will help young people have conversations about their mental health and find the support they need, when they need it".

"Today we are saying that taking mental health seriously is what professional and dedicated servicemen and women must do to be above the rest and leading from the front".

The defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said: "By looking after our mental health we are building a more effective armed forces that helps keep this country safe". Our soldiers, sailors and airmen are the best in the world but we will only maintain that if we are as serious about improving mental health as we are our combat skills and cutting-edge technology.

He said: "The idea is start to get them thinking about their mental fitness so they talk about it in the same way they do about going to the gym for their physical fitness".

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