Self harm and joining the Navy

(13 Posts)
CuriousMama Sun 28-Jul-19 11:01:08

My ds has applied for the Navy. He's passed the first part and is on filling in the medical form. Sadly he was bullied in school and suffered depression and self harmed.

It's not looking good for him now. I'm gutted and dread telling him that they may not accept him because of his history. He's almost 19. He has some faint scars on his forearm.

I'm so worried for his future. There's no work around here even though he jas a qualification. It's apprenticeships that he's too qualified for.

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CuriousMama Sun 28-Jul-19 11:01:39


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CuriousMama Sun 28-Jul-19 12:43:56


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Basketofkittens Mon 29-Jul-19 19:11:22

Hi there, the military is strict with mental health, DH is a military officer who has had experiences in recruitment. I found this in the official policy:

“37. A single episode of self-harm or self-mutilation in response to a stressful event occurring more than 3 years before application is no bar to recruitment provided the 3 year interim has been free from all symptoms.

If there was no precipitating stressful event then the candidate should normally be graded S8, as this indicates an enduring endogenous risk of further self-harm. Candidates with a history of 2 or more episodes, -even with clear stressors, should normally be graded S8, as repetition indicates a substantial risk of further repetition and, of more concern, a significant\increase in risk of later death by suicide.

If multiple attempts occur over a short period of time (weeks rather than months), and can clearly be ascribed to the same single stressful event, then for the purposes of selection, these may be regarded as a single episode.
S2=Fit to enter, S8 = Unfit for military service.”

Has your son been diagnosed with a mental illness? And did he self harm over a period of weeks (one episode) or months (more than one episode)

“More than one episode of deliberate self-harm of any type.”

daisychain01 Mon 29-Jul-19 20:21:27

I'm gutted and dread telling him that they may not accept him because of his history

My advice is not to be tempted to step in and tell him what the outcome may or may not be. That is the remit of Navy recruitment team. You don't yet know the outcome, so best to say nothing until they have carried out their assessment.

If he does have commitment towards joining the Navy, he will need to develop strength of character and resilience which will come from confronting rejection and being able to bounce back from it. He can always reapply later on, once his recovery is complete.

Sandybval Mon 29-Jul-19 20:29:34

Perhaps he could consider the merchant navy if not? They offer apprenticeships too, although some similarities with the navy also of course many differences; but may be worth looking into.

Samaranian Mon 29-Jul-19 20:44:27

Second the merchant navy - in particular the Royal Fleet Auxhillary - the civilian manned support for the Royal Navy. Very similar to the Navy in a lot of ways but also very different in others. The recruitment process for the RFA is tough still but I believe they are slightly more linient on certain things during recruitment than the Navy.

I can't comment on mental health issues but someone I knew got into the RFA with a historic criminal conviction that likely would have been not accepted by the RN. There is an online chat on the RN and RFA careers pages and they can be pretty helpful or alternatively pop into your local AFCO and ask the question - they tend to be quite helpful as well I have found.

CuriousMama Tue 30-Jul-19 09:53:16

Thank you so much for replying. Dh and I had thought about the merchant navy. He's also applied for a lot of apprenticeships so hopefully something will come up for him?

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CuriousMama Tue 30-Jul-19 09:54:38

I found the apprenticeships yesterday on the site. He's applied for 6 so far. One is right next to where we live.

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stucknoue Tue 30-Jul-19 10:07:17

Dd is in the navy, some of her friends have had mild mental issues and they were allowed in. It does depend on what is in his medical records, would be worth requesting it from the gp

NoBaggyPants Tue 30-Jul-19 10:10:37

What qualifications does he have? They won't be a bar to an apprenticeship, especially the advanced apprenticeships that will allow him to work towards a degree level qualification.

CuriousMama Tue 30-Jul-19 16:00:40

He has level 3 electrical and gcses.

He's at the GP tomorrow to see what's on his records.

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CuriousMama Wed 21-Aug-19 22:18:35

Hi ds is getting a call tomorrow from the nurse to discuss his medical information. He was honest when filling in the form.

I just hope he gets a chance.

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