A NEW series of books aimed at improving the mental health of a forces families has been launched at RAF Odiham

The RAF Benevolent Fund is piloting the books in response to research which found more than half of military parents believed a military lifestyle had a negative impact on their children and led to an increase in psychosocial problems.

The Cloud Nine book series has been commissioned by the fund as a guide for RAF families, to give them the techniques to promote mental wellbeing and emotional resilience as they face the challenges of growing up in a military family.

RAF Benevolent Fund head of welfare programmes and development Alison Wyman said: “Having stood side by side with the RAF Family for one hundred years, we know only too well the challenges they face. These books are designed to be picked up and put down as and when life gets a little tough and extra support is needed, such as when moving house or when a parent is deployed.

“It is our hope that the techniques and tools found within the Cloud Nine series will instil in RAF children, young people and their parents, positive mental health habits to take with them into adulthood.”

There are four books in the series aimed at different age groups: A Day in the Clouds for four to seven-year-olds; Super Dooper You for eight to 12-year-olds; Tactical Manoeuvres for Life for 12 to 16-year-olds; and Roots and Wings, a parents' handbook.

Wing Commander David Bond, OC base support wing at RAF Odiham, said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund quickly identified this gap in provision and has subsequently worked extensively with Big Happiness, who wrote and illustrated the Cloud Nine series, to create an easily consumable medium that addresses mental health for Service children of all ages. RAF Odiham is delighted to facilitate this mindfulness book launch and the RAF Benevolent Fund more broadly who are, in turn, a large supporter of this station.”

The RAF Benevolent Fund worked with emotional intelligence and resilience experts, The Big Happiness Experiment, who wrote and illustrated the Cloud Nine series.