Veteran Specific Services

One of our key research priorities is:
The usefulness of services aimed specifically at veterans (including peer support workers).

There is an ongoing debate around the provision of veteran-specific services concerning whether veteran needs necessitate specifically targeted services, or whether veterans are best served through mainstream public sector provision. Research suggests that veterans do not tend to access general services, and for those who do, they tend to withdraw from treatments or services at a higher rate than the general population.

A recent FiMT report, ‘Call to Mind’, published in 2015 in collaboration with NHS England and Community Innovations Enterprise, found that veterans in mainstream therapy appear to have difficulty sharing their experiences and emotions openly in group therapy settings due to feelings of being judged and unsupported, often due to (the perception that) mainstream therapy lacks an understanding of military culture. Read the report (pages 36-39 for relevant sections).

There is little research that adequately addresses this research topic, with the resulting impact on the quality of decisions that rely on such evidence to develop policy and services for veterans. Sound research is required in this area to help inform whether funding is best directed at integrating veteran needs into mainstream provision, or to targeted veteran-specific provision. The Mental Health Research Programme is keen to fund research that will shed light on these issues.