JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Conceptualising Stress in the Armed Forces: A Public Health Perspective

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  • October 2016
    Volume: 
    10
    Issue: 
    4
    Focus

    In recent years, the frequent reports of suicide and fragging cases among armed forces personnel have prompted several questions about the negative effects of stressful life experiences on the well-being of soldiers. The narrow conception of mental health is not enough to understand and explain the status of mental health and well-being of a soldier, which eclipses the interwoven nature of various social determinants of health at workplace, such as the complexity of social categories reflected in class, power and caste structures. These work jointly to produce vulnerability to stress and affect the mental health and well-being of the armed forces personnel. With the aim of conceptualising stress in military settings and its effects on soldier’s mental well-being, the present article explores the complex interrelationships between a soldier’s mental well-being and his/her work, the organisational structures, processes and the environment within which they operate.

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