Serving in Bosnia made me appreciate living in Bristol: stressful experiences, attitudes, and psychological needs of members of the United Kingdom armed forces
Peacekeeping operations form an increasing part of the role of the U.K. Armed Forces. This study identified perceived needs for training before such operations, experiences of stress during deployments, beliefs and attitudes regarding psychological support and debriefing on return, general attitudes toward peacekeeping duties, and positive aspects of the peacekeeping role. Although nearly all peacekeepers were exposed to a variety of experiences, most perceived stress came from professional difficulties and frustrations with the occupational role of being a peacekeeper, rather than from dangerous situations. The exception was a significant fear of land mines. For many, peacekeeping had a positive impact on soldiers' lives, most commonly an appreciation of "things back home." Respondents' opinions about the peacekeeping experience vary greatly. Additional training addressing and exploring potential conflicts between the traditional role of the soldier and the role of the peacekeeper may be useful.