Ex-squaddie Prince Harry is known to be deeply concerned about the mental-health challenges faced by servicemen and -women, and Monday helped launch a new online service designed specifically to help members of the armed forces and their wider community take a more proactive approach to their mental fitness.
While the new platform, HeadFIT, is available to all comers at headfit.org, it has been designed primarily with the defense community in mind, the prince’s office said.
The website invites users to select whether they need help with issues such as de-stressing, confidence, or drive, and offers a range of techniques such as breathing exercises and body-posture advice that it’s hoped can be easily integrated into everyday life.
Harry says in a promotional video that being mentally as well as physically fit can improve performance by “10, maybe 15 percent” adding: “I know this to be true, it works for me.”
The suite of tools on HeadFIT was developed in partnership with the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, the Ministry of Defence, and Kings College London.
Publicly, the new program has been spearheaded by Harry, who hailed the program as a method of “being the best you can be.”
Harry said in a statement Monday: “HeadFIT has been almost three years in the making, and I am extremely grateful for everyone who has been on this journey with us. Everyone who has worked on it, to create what we have today, should be incredibly proud and excited for the impact it will have.
“I’ve long believed the military community should lead the way for the rest of society. For too long we have been waiting for problems to arise and then reacting to them. HeadFIT is a proactive approach to mental fitness, focusing on our own potential to increase our performance, using proven methods in sport science.
“This is about optimization of self. This is about being the best you can be. This is about gaining an advantage, whether facing an opponent or overcoming a challenging situation. This is about building resilience that will match that of most world-class athletes and prepare you for everyday stress. To be HeadFIT is to be at your peak performance.”
Britain’s minister for defense people and veterans, Johnny Mercer, said the launch of the platform had been brought forward to help people struggling with the coronavirus lockdown, saying, “Right now mental resilience has never been more important as our defense community works tirelessly to support the U.K.’s public services during the coronavirus pandemic.
“HeadFIT will provide our people—serving and civilian—with the tools they need to maintain mental fitness throughout their career and afterwards. By launching the site ahead of schedule, we are providing them with the support they deserve in these exceptional times.”