One is Too Many
In 2022, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity’s ‘Lifting the Lid’ mental health campaign continued with funding from the Armed Forces
Covenant Fund Trust’s (AFCFT) ‘One is Too Many’ programme, in conjunction with several other funders. The most notable of these was a two-year £160,000 award from the National Lottery’s Community Fund (Big Lottery Reaching Communities England), allowing
the programme to continue after the AFCFT’s own two-year funding programme ended in March 2023.
‘Lifting the Lid’ has helped to break down barriers by suggesting there is strength, not weakness, in seeking help from others; that asking for support should be applauded not stigmatised.
With the aim of encouraging healthy behaviours, mental fitness and promote earlier help-seeking behaviour, a series of short videos
was created with the over-arching message: ‘What you see of someone on the outside is not necessarily what they are feeling on the inside’.
The Charity hosted a Suicide Awareness Symposium in September 2022 with the theme: ‘One is Too Many — Complete the Jigsaw’. This brought collaborative partnerships together for the first time to encourage the sharing of best practice and included over 50
mental health specialists, volunteers, NHS, Chain of Command and partner organisations such as SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity), Walking with the Wounded, Help for Heroes, Samaritans and Zero Suicide Alliance.
The social media campaign around ‘Lifting the Lid’ was immensely powerful with calls to action referrals, training, and general
advice reaching 695,383 social media accounts throughout 2022.
Its online presence was boosted during Mental Health Awareness Week in May (94,013 unique views) and World Suicide Prevention Day in September (52,659 unique views).
Targeted communication concentrated on the main messages of stigma reduction and encouraging help seeking behaviours. It also addressed the pursuit of healthy lifestyles with a ‘Hoofing Hints’ banner and posters written in language to resonate with the audience, ‘hoofing’ being Royal Marines’ slang for ‘good or excellent’.
Equipping practitioners and volunteers to understand the unique characteristics of both serving and veteran Royal Marines, and identify their support needs, remained a priority.
As part of our volunteer support network development, we trained a further 23 volunteers to be peer support workers. We are now privileged to have a fully trained 56-strong team that covers the UK, being the eyes and ears of the Health & Wellbeing team and
supporting and signposting the most vulnerable members of our RM family.
The Charity’s Health & Wellbeing and Development teams continue to constantly review the needs of ‘Lifting the Lid’ with treatment pathways, Veterans Referral Plan, coaching, and detox remaining the costliest elements of our work; and, as part of the AFCFT’s ‘One is Too Many’ programme, are capturing and collating data for an evaluation being carried out by the University of Chester.
Our thanks to the following funders who also made important contributions to ‘Lifting the Lid’ in 2022 — the Hollyhock Charitable Trust, John Horseman Trust, Open Community Grant — Spark Somerset and Queen Mary’s Roehampton Trust.