Funding Opportunities

The following project portfolio lists current and completed funding opportunities and how to apply to each specific opportunity. Please read the Mental Health Research Programme’s How to Apply section first, and note the closing dates below.

Current and closed funding opportunities:

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HN 002 Ex-Service personnel, employment and mental health
CLOSES 31 October 2017

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) in collaboration with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research, a part of King’s College London, is issuing a highlight notice under FiMT’s Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP) as part of an initiative to encourage high quality research in the field of veterans’ mental health. The aim of this highlight notice is to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to identify, evaluate and/or propose new methods of improving employment/under-employment in former UK Armed Forces personnel with mental ill-health.

Employment is vital to health and should be recognised as a health outcome. The employment rates for adults with mental health problems contrasts with the general population: with 43% of all people with mental health problems in employment, compared to 74% of the general population and 65% of people with other health conditions (Department of Health, 2016). The employment rate of people with severe and enduring mental health problems is just 7.3% (HSCIC, 2013). Whilst the majority of ex-Service personnel do well after transitioning from military to civilian life, for some, the return to civilian life can be difficult (Centre for Mental Health, 2016; Pinder et. al, 2011). Findings from the literature support this assessment, with UK veteran unemployment rates varying from 6% to 19.5%, depending on the cohort of personnel reviewed (Pinder et. al, 2011; HM Government, 2007; Iverson et. al., 2005; Hotopf et al., 2003). When the relationship between unemployment and mental ill-health is considered in the general population, there appears to be a causal link both ways (Centre for Mental Health, 2013). People with mental health problems are much less likely to be in paid employment (Rinaldi et al., 2011) and people who have been unemployed for at least six months are more likely to develop depression or other mental health conditions (Diette et al., 2012).

Ex-Service personnel suffering from mental ill-health are likely to be the most susceptible ex-Service group to a range of hardships, including unemployment (Iversen et al. 2005). A review of 166 Armed Forces personnel presenting to a single general hospital following an incident of self-harm identified employment problems as a trigger in 43.9% of cases (Hawton et al., 2009). A FiMT-commissioned review of serving and ex-Service personnel’s mental health complements these findings, identifying those who leave military service due to mental ill-health as being at an increased risk of social exclusion (e.g. unemployment and homelessness) and continuing poor health (Samele et al., 2013). A recent Centre for Mental Health report reviewing the evidence on how to support Armed Forces veterans with mental health conditions into paid employment, and evaluating The Poppy Factory’s employability service, identified a range of factors that affect how ex-Service personnel suffering mental ill-health find and retain employment (Centre for Mental Health, 2016).

Building on the FiMT-commissioned review from 2013, and Centre for Mental Health and Royal British Legion reviews from 2016, the MHRP would like to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to address one or more of the following:

  • The prevalence of diagnosed mental health problems in UK serving personnel and how they might best be prepared for and supported into post-Service employment
  • Identification and evaluation of existing methods of support that help ex-Service personnel suffering a range of mental health problems (from common mental health disorders to PTSD) to find and retain appropriate employment
  • Methods and techniques to enhance the resilience of Service leavers with mental ill-health to help them secure and sustain appropriate employment post-Service
  • Potential change mechanisms to help improve UK ex-Service personnel’s awareness of and engagement in pathways to employment for those suffering mental ill-health
  • The need for and feasibility of specialised support for veterans with mental ill-health specifically related to seeking and retaining employment
  • Determine whether veterans would benefit from more integrated support models which combine mental health services with mainstream employment support
  • Identify the support needs and employment outcomes of Early Service Leavers, Reservists, female and/or other minority ex-Service personnel groups suffering mental ill-health
  • Identify the extent to which veterans and their families with mental ill-health are underemployed and whether or not such underemployment aids or exacerbates their mental ill-health (e.g. through under use of and potential subsequent loss of skills, knowledge and confidence)
  • Identify long-term analysis of unemployment rates for ex-Service personnel with mental ill-health, specifically beyond 6 months of leaving service
  • Methods of evaluating the long-term effects of the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) on ex-Service personnel with mental ill-health, specifically relating to the ability of this group to remain in employment after the end of the two-year CTP Programme (HM Government, 2015)
  • Individual Placement Support (IPS) has increasing become recognised as one of the most effective approaches to employment support (Department of Health, 2016). A literature review aimed at identifying effective interventions for maximising work outcomes for the veteran population with mental illness identified 32 relevant studies, 10 of which focused on veterans. Authors agreed with numerous other systematic reviews that IPS is the most effective intervention to support people with serious mental health conditions to return to competitive employment (Van Til et al., 2013). The MHRP would be interested in evaluating the suitability of IPS for UK veterans, identifying whether the outcomes for veterans differ from those of the general population, and whether a tailored veteran specific IPS method would be more effective

The Mental Health Research Programme welcomes research proposals that address any one or more of the above aspects concerning the employment of ex-Service personnel experiencing mental ill-health.

Applications

The application process to apply for funding to FiMT under a highlight notice follows a two-stage process. The first stage is a short initial application form. If successful at this stage, a full application is invited. Full details of the application process, the initial application form and assessment criteria guidance are available from FiMT’s website: http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/funding/how-to-apply.

Applications received by FiMT that fall under this Highlight Notice will be prioritised for evaluation until the end of October 2017. Please ensure you include the number and title of the highlight notice in the relevant box of the application form (HN 002 Ex-Service personnel, employment and mental health) and ensure you justify in your application how your research fits within the priority area.

Contact

If you wish to discuss this notice and/or your MHRP proposal, please contact Harry Palmer, the MHRP Programme Coordinator on 07469151152 or email harry.palmer@centreformentalhealth.org.uk.

References

Centre for Mental Health (2009). Doing what works: Individual placement and support in employment. London: Centre for Mental Health – available on the Centre for Mental Health’s website: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/briefing-37-doing

Centre for Mental Health (2013). Barriers to Employment: What works for people with mental health problems. London: Centre for Mental Health – available on the Centre for Mental Health’s website: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/briefing-47-employment

Centre for Mental Health (2016). Employment in Mind: The Poppy Factory employability service and veterans with mental health conditions. London: Centre for Mental Health – available on the Centre for Mental Health’s website: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/employment-in-mind-the-poppy-factory-employability-service-and-veterans-with-mental-health-conditions

Davis, L. L., Leon, A. C., Toscano, R., Drebing, C. E., Ward, L. C., Parker, P. E. (2012) A randomized controlled trial of supported employment among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychiatric Services, 63(5), pp. 464-470

Department of Health (2016). The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, Redditch: Independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England

Diette, T., Goldsmith, A., Hamilton, D. & Darity, W. (2012) Causality in the relationship between mental health and unemployment in Appelbaum, L. (Ed.) Reconnecting to Work: Policies to mitigate long-term unemployment and its consequences. Michigan, US: WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Hawton, K., Harriss, L., Casey, D., Simkin, S., Harrison, K., Bray, I. and Blatchley, N. (2009) Self-harm in UK armed forces personnel: descriptive and case-control study of general hospital presentations. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(3), pp. 266-272

Health and Social Care Information Centre (2013). Routine Quarterly Mental Health Minimum Data set (MHMDS) Reports – Final Q4 2012-2013 – available here

HM Government (2007). Ministry of Defence: Leaving the Services, London: The National Audit Office

HM Government (2015). Ministry of Defence: Career Transition Partnership quarterly statistics: UK Regular Service Personnel Employment Outcomes 2009/10 to 2013/14, Bristol: Defence Statistics

Hotopf, M., David, A.S., Hull, L., Nikalaou, V., Unwin, C. and Wessely, S. (2003) Gulf war illness – better, worse, or just the same? A cohort study, British Medical Journal, 327

Iversen, A., Dyson, C., Smith, N., Greenberg, N., Walwyn, R.,Unwin, C., Hill, L., Hotopf, M., Dandeker, C., Ross, J. and Wessely, S. (2005a) ’Goodbye and good luck’: the mental health needs and treatment experiences of British ex-Service personnel. British Journal of Psychiatry, 186, pp. 480-486

Pinder, R., Murphy, D., Iversen, A., Wessely, S. and Fear, N. (2011) Social exclusion amongst UK ex-Service personnel based on measures of employment. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 68(Suppl_1), pp.A50

Rinaldi, M., Montibeller, T. & Perkins, R. (2011) Increasing the Employment rate for people with longer-term mental health problems. The Psychiatrist, 35, pp. 339-343

Samele, C., (2013) The mental health of serving and ex-Service personnel: A review of the evidence and perspective of key stakeholders. London: Mental Health Foundation – available on the Forces in Mind Trust’s website: http://www.fim-trust.org/reports/

The Royal British Legion (2014) A UK Household Survey of the Ex-Service Community. London: The Royal British Legion – available on The Royal British Legion website: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/media/2275/2014householdsurveyreport.pdf

The Royal British Legion (2016) Deployment to Employment: Exploring the veteran employment gap in the UK. London: The Royal British legion – available on The Royal British Legion website: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/media/5035/deployment-to-employment.pdf

Van Til, L., Fikretoglu, D., Pranger, T., Patten, S., Wang, J., Wong, M., (2013). Work Reintegration for Veterans with Mental Disorders: A Systematic Literature Review to Inform Research. Physical Therapy, 93(9), pp. 1163-1174

Worked up by:
MHRP PC and RSM
28 Jun 2017

OPEN CALL
Rolling Call

The Mental Health Research Programme is currently welcoming applications on research concerning ex-Service personnel and their families. We are particularly interested in projects which fall within our 6 research priorities:

How to Apply
If you are interested in applying to FiMT‘s Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP), please ensure you have first read the MHRP ‘How to Apply’ section and relevant guidelines. Then please download and complete the Initial Application form below and email a copy to: applications@fim-trust.org

Download Initial Application Form

Highlight Notice
Please note this opportunity is now closed.

001 Ex-Service personnel, alcohol and other substance misuse and addiction

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) in collaboration with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research is issuing a highlight notice under FiMT’s Mental Health Research Programme as part of an initiative to encourage high quality research in the field of veterans’ mental health. The aim of this highlight notice is to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to understand and address substance misuse and addiction, including alcohol, legal and illegal drug use, and its impact on former UK Armed Forces personnel and their families.

A FiMT-commissioned review of serving and ex-Service personnel’s mental health[1] identified alcohol misuse as a key priority for veterans’ mental health, describing it as a ‘major public health issue’.  The review highlighted the need to address:

  • causes of alcohol use and misuse
  • the effectiveness of alcohol-related interventions
  • the relationship of alcohol consumption to other mental health conditions
  • issues of long term alcohol misuse and dependency
  • the lack of existing evidence on other types of substance misuse and addictive behaviours beyond alcohol including recreational drug use, self-medication, gambling, and misuse of prescription medicines or ‘body enhancement’ substances.

The Mental Health Research Programme welcomes research proposals that address any of these aspects of substance misuse and addiction for UK ex-Service personnel and their families.[2]

Applications

This Highlight Notice will run from The application process to apply for funding to FiMT under a highlight notice, follows a two stage procedure. The first stage is a short initial application form. If successful at this stage a full application is invited.  Full details of the application process, the initial application form and assessment criteria guidance are available from FiMT’s website:   http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/funding/how-to-apply

Applications received by FiMT that fall under a highlight notice will be prioritised for funding until the end of September 2016. Please ensure you include the number and title of the highlight notice in the relevant box of  the application form  (001 Ex-Service personnel, alcohol and other substance misuse and addiction) and ensure you justify in your application how your research fits within the priority area.

Contact

If you wish to discuss this notice, and your MHRP proposal informally please contact:

Hilary Cornish, MHRP Programme Coordinator

Email: hilary.cornish@centreformentalhealth.org.uk   or  phone: 020 7827 8332

[1] Samele, C. (2013). The Mental Health of Serving and Ex-Service Personnel: A review of the evidence and perspectives of key stakeholders. FiMT: London, and available on the Forces in Mind website: http://www.fim-trust.org/reports/

[2] FiMT are currently funding a project by Addaction in this area and we are unlikely to fund projects with substantial overlap.  Please review the press release at:  http://www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/