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Forces in Mind Trust funded multi-disciplinary conference on mental health and military transition held at Queen Mary University of London

Leading veterans’ mental health and other experts gathered today (Tuesday 16th May) at Demobbed: the psychological reality of veteran transition in the UK conference at the Wolfson Institute, Queen Mary University of London, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT)

The conference explored mental illness in the context of transition from the UK armed forces. It considered the patterns of illness and recovery, and how public understanding may be focused on the wrong issues.  In particular, it debated whether an emphasis on PTSD may have distracted attention from other more common mental health conditions. This is set against the falling income of military charities since the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, as the challenges faced by members of the Armed Forces returning from active service fall out of the public eye.

The conference brought together clinicians, policy makers, military charities and the media, to facilitate debate and encourage further research into an area that is at risk of losing public attention.

The event was sold out months in advance with over 90 guests attending. Speakers from the public health, academic and media sectors provided expert insights and latest research findings, including:  Professor Kamaldeep Bhui CBE, Centre Lead for Psychiatry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London; Kate Davies OBE, Head of Health & Justice, Armed Forces and Public Health NHS England; Matthew Green, journalist for the Financial Times and Reuters, and author of Aftershock: the untold story of surviving peace. A number of academics who are current recipients of FiMT grants also spoke about their research, including Professor Edgar Jones, Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry at King’s College London who will be delivering a key note speech, as well as Dr Stephen Herron, Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Nicola Lloyd-Jones, Senior Lecturer, Glyndwr University.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust who also spoke at the Conference on the need to fund research into transition, said: “The Forces in Mind Trust has worked hard to build a greater understanding of veterans’ mental health issues. Since our inception in 2012, one of our key priorities has been ‘to promote better mental health and well-being’ among the ex-Service community. We know that resources are finite, and in some cases actually reducing, and the military charity and health sectors need empirical evidence to understand how to use them to maximum effect. Conferences such as this help to identify public misconceptions of mental health and how these can have a negative effect on wider military health and welfare delivery. The Forces in Mind Trust is very proud to have sponsored this event and hopes that this coming together of academics, policy makers and service deliverers will spark wider debates about how better to support ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.”

Professor Edgar Jones, Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry at King’s College London, said:  “We rely on the men and women of our armed forces to protect us during times of external threat so it is important that we remain alert to their care and welfare once they have returned to civilian life.”

The full programme of the day was as follows:

First Session

Chair: Professor Kamaldeep Bhui CBE, Centre Lead for Psychiatry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London

Making Veterans Mental Health a mainstream priority for the NHS and partners
Kate Davies OBE, Head of Health & Justice, Armed Forces and Public Health NHS England

Medically unexplained symptoms in the aftermath of war: UK veterans and civilians compared
& ‘Goodbye to All That’: summary of findings in context
Professor Edgar Jones, Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s College London

Closing the gaps: how we can fix military mental healthcare
Matthew Green: journalist and author, Financial Times and Reuters

Second Session

Chair: Professor Edgar Jones, Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s College London

How counter-insurgency warfare experiences impact upon the post-deployment reintegration of land-based British Army personnel
Dr Stephen Herron, Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast

Leaving the Armed Forces and Living in North Wales: An exploratory study of decision-making as a civilian
Dr Nicola Lloyd-Jones, Senior Lecturer, Glyndwr University

Is there really a need to fund research into military transition?
Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust

ENDS

Notes to Editors
Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.  FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.

All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About Queen Mary, University London

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is one of the UK’s leading universities, and one of the largest institutions in the University of London, with 23,120 students from more than 155 countries.

A member of the Russell Group, we work across the humanities and social sciences, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering, with inspirational teaching directly informed by our research. In the most recent national assessment of the quality of research, we were placed ninth in the UK (REF 2014).

As well as our main site at Mile End – which is home to one of the largest self-contained residential campuses in London – we have campuses at Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square, and West Smithfield dedicated to the study of medicine, and a base for legal studies at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

We have a rich history in London with roots in Europe’s first public hospital, St Barts; England’s first medical school, The London; one of the first colleges to provide higher education to women, Westfield College; and the Victorian philanthropic project, the People’s Palace at Mile End.

Today, as well as retaining these close connections to our local community, we are known for our international collaborations in both teaching and research.

QMUL has an annual turnover of £350m, a research income worth £125m (2014/15), and generates employment and output worth £700m to the UK economy each year.

About King’s College London – www.kcl.ac.uk

About King’s College London

(www.kcl.ac.uk)

King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2016/17 QS World University Rankings) and among the oldest in England. King’s has more than 29,600 students (of whom nearly 11,700 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 8,000 staff.

King’s has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £738 million.

King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

King’s Strategic Vision looks forward to our 200th anniversary in 2029. It shows how King’s will make the world a better place by focusing on five key strategic priorities: educate to inspire and improve; research to inform and innovate; serve to shape and transform; a civic university at the heart of London; an international community that serves the world.

The Vision demonstrates how King’s will continue to inspire future generations, through a rounded education, to be the critical thinkers, problem solvers and change-makers the world needs. Through the highest quality disciplinary research and interdisciplinary collaborations, King’s staff and students will contribute insights into and solutions for the world’s many diverse challenges. As a community of staff, students, partners and collaborators, King’s will serve the needs and aspirations of society both locally and across the globe. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings/strategy/index.aspx

 

FiMT talks to Fundraising Magazine

Chief Executive of FiMT, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, was recently interviewed by Fundraising Magazine for its ‘Meet the Funder’ section.

To learn about FiMT’s funding, and how we support UK veteran charities and research, you can visit the Fundraising Magazine page here. You can also read the article as a PDF here.

The Forces in Mind Trust takes its sector briefing programme to the South of England

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) held two South of England briefing events, the first in Portsmouth on Thursday 30th and the second in Andover on Friday 31st March, which were attended by over 55 people in total. Attendees came from a wide range of sectors including the Armed Forces Community and the Armed Forces charity sector as well as other key stakeholders and interested parties who work to support ex-Service personnel, and their families.

The events, which were the latest in a series of regional briefings, were led by Chief Executive of FiMT, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, and supported by his executive team. A presentation at the event highlighted FiMT’s work to provide an evidence base which aims to influence policy making and service delivery, in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.

There was also an update on FiMT’s strategy, current work and priorities, and the Mental Health Research Programme. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with FiMT’s executive team and network over lunch.

FiMT would like to thank everyone who attended the two events and made them so interesting and enjoyable.

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 07824 119 171 or 0207 284 6961 or Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

New Forces in Mind Trust Report: A Pilot Study to Support Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

A new report, identifying the challenges faced by ex-Service personnel who enter police custody and ways to better support them was released today (3 April) and has found that the ex-Serving personnel in this study who are identified at the point of contact in police custody have responded encouragingly to targeted support.

The report, ‘A Pilot Study to Support Veterans in the Criminal Justice System’, was funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and delivered by Anglia Ruskin University, to examine the engagement and impact of a pilot veteran intervention programme, Project Nova.

Project Nova was delivered by RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity and Walking with the Wounded, in collaboration with Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, and a network of military charities and organisations to provide advice, guidance and support to ex-Service personnel who had entered police custody. The Project placed particular focus on early intervention to prevent re-offending further down the line and was delivered between July 2014 and July 2015 in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The impact of Project Nova on reoffending rates was notable; seven out of ten participants had been arrested in the six-month period prior to their engagement with the Project but none were arrested in the following six months afterwards. The report identified that veterans referred to Project Nova found that ex-Serving personnel engaged with the criminal justice system rank themselves in the lowest 20% of the population for their mental health and wellbeing. The report also found that the greatest number of offences were carried out by those who had transitioned out of the military over 20 years earlier. However, while these statistics around the impact of engagement are encouraging, because of the relatively small data sets available, further factors need to be explored which could account for these changes.

Nine out of ten of those who went through the in-depth interview process with Project Nova reported feeling that interaction with mentors or support workers with a military background or understanding was important to them. The report determined that trust and positive relationships are fundamental to veterans being open to receiving support, especially as many described personal perceptions of weakness and shame about accepting their own needs for care and support.

The Report makes a number of recommendations to better understand and improve support for veteran offenders. These recommendations include: a larger scale exploration of support available to veteran offenders; analysis of a larger sample of participants; and a large scale, regional roll-out of the project.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The positive impact of Project Nova’s work to actively tailor support for veteran offenders is encouraging. The findings and recommendations of the Report will help inform better intervention methods for veterans entering police custody, as well as providing a better understanding of the challenges they face. Further research, and a wider roll out of the project, would help build a stronger evidence base from which we could better support this particularly vulnerable cohort in the future.”

Stephen Gledhill, CEO of RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity said: “As military charities working hand-in-hand with one another, we understand Veterans’ experience of military service, the effect this has had on their transition to civilian life and the many difficulties they encounter. We are therefore able to put in place the help they need to face the future.”

Edward Parker, CEO of Walking With The Wounded said: “We have been fortunate to be able to use the emerging lessons from this study of the Pilot area to further develop and grow the programme. Project Nova is now also working to bring crucial help to Veterans who become involved in the Criminal Justice System in the North East, North West and South Yorkshire and Humberside”.

Matt Fossey, Director of the Veterans & Families Institute (VFI) at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “The VFI is committed to addressing the issues faced by ex-Service personnel through research and partnership working. Project Nova has delivered encouraging results and we sincerely hope the findings will prompt further investigation and research.”

ENDS

Read the report here.

Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944, or Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 0207 7284 6961.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.  FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and will be hosted on the Veterans Research Hub at Anglia Ruskin Unversity, which is going live in Summer 2017.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

Project Nova Partners – Organisation Information:

RFEA, The Forces Employment Charity

We exist to provide life-long, life-changing support, jobs and training opportunities to service leavers and veterans irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving. Founded in 1885 and operating across the UK, we have the specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment.  We work in partnership with other organisations and employers who, like us, respect and value the unique qualities and abilities of all those who have served.

As part of their charitable objectives, RFEA provides support to Veterans who become involved in the Criminal Justice System working to support Veterans to improve their social stability and ultimately progress towards sustainable employment or other vocational outcome that provides a meaningful occupation and integrates them into the community.   The RFEA’s expertise lies in understanding the Veteran and the impact and unique nature of military service. Their position within the military charity community also enables them to be a powerful broker to other charities that may be able to provide for a client’s specific needs – e.g. housing, life skills, mental health and funded training.

www.rfea.org.uk

Anglia Ruskin University

The Veterans & Families Institute (VFI) at Anglia Ruskin University was founded to carry out research, evaluation and audit activities on the social care, employment and wellbeing of military veterans and their families. The work of the VFI aims to inform and influence policy making in this area regionally, nationally and internationally. The Institute’s Director, Matt Fossey, and the team of experienced researchers have an established track record in this specialist field of study. Anglia Ruskin University also offers an MSc in Global Military Veteran and Family Studies, the first postgraduate qualification of this kind to be offered in the UK.

www.anglia.ac.uk/vfi

Walking With The Wounded

Established in 2010, Walking With The Wounded provides vulnerable veterans’ independence through employment.
WWTW recognises the inherent skills of our armed service personnel and wants to compliment these qualities, as well as provide support to transfer their skills into the civilian workplace.  We offer assistance through our programmes to those vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in gaining independence through new long term careers outside of the military.  This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System, areas which are too often ignored.

The outcome? Sustainable employment, and independence for them and their families.

For further information, please visit wwtw.org.uk or contact us on 01263 863 900.
Registered Charity Number 1153497

www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk

Forces Friends project recognised with FiMT sponsored national award

Forces Friends, a project providing support to older military veterans, has been awarded the Working Together Award, sponsored by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), at the Soldiering On national awards ceremony on Friday evening (24 March 2017) in London.

The annual Soldiering On Awards provide national recognition for exceptional individuals and organisations working within the Armed Forces Community, and is run by the Soldiering On Through Life Trust. The Working Together award, which recognises an organisation that has demonstrated a commitment to collaboration with the Armed Forces Community, is sponsored for the second time by FiMT.

Forces Friends is the partnership between Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, and The Royal British Legion providing support to older military veterans experiencing isolation or loneliness. The organisation provides trained volunteer visiting services to deliver support for isolated and lonely military veterans and their dependents aged over 60. The project provides short term support to enable older veterans and their dependents to reconnect with social networks and help overcome the problems of loneliness. Their trained volunteers, mainly from Forces or Royal British Legion backgrounds, offer one-to-one home visits to provide companionship and social support, as well as trips into the wider community.

Nicholas Rhodes from Age UK Notts as well as Digby Bown and Linda Flecknell from The Royal British Legion, on behalf of Forces Friends, were presented with the award by Hans Pung, Chairman of the Forces in Mind Trust, at an awards ceremony held in London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel.

John Anderton from Age UK Notts, said: “The award means a lot to us as an organisation because it recognises the very valuable contribution made by our volunteers to improving the lives of older veterans and their dependents. We acknowledge the support of the Royal British Legion at branch and area level and it’s been a pleasure to work in such close collaboration.”

Linda Flecknell from The Royal British Legion, said: “Forces Friends is a fantastic example of how two charities with different expertise but a shared aim, can come together to help change the lives of the people in our community. In a short space of time Forces Friends has come to mean so much to the veterans of Nottinghamshire and we are so proud of the joint Age UK Notts and Legion Forces Friends team that has made this project a realty.”

Anne Donoghue Chief Executive of the Soldering On Awards said:  “The Soldiering On Awards recognise great achievements of former members of the Armed Forces Community and those who support that community. We look to reward and spread the word about initiatives which are creating a positive ripple of change in society, both nationally and locally. The Forces Friends Project is an exemplary example of a collaboration between The Royal British Legion and Age UK for the benefit of veterans and, thereby society as a whole. The Armed Forces Community is part of the wider community and the Forces Friends Project shows how we can support each other, and in doing so proves we are all the better for it.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are delighted to recognise projects, like Forces Friends, where organisations have worked together to prevent the loneliness and social isolation that some veterans are at risk of experiencing in later life. This is the second year the Forces in Mind Trust has sponsored this award and we are delighted to see so many fantastic examples of collaboration, which will help to spread knowledge of best practice across the military and wider charity sectors, and is key to making sure that those vulnerable to failed transition receive the help they need”.

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 07824 119 171 or 0207 284 6961 or Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.  FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

Launch of new online resource challenges employers to think differently about taking on ex-Service personnel

The Poppy Factory – the charity that helps injured ex-Service men and women find work – has launched a new online toolkit for employers.

The Employer Toolkit, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), gives advice and guidance to employers, helping them to manage a workforce with complex health conditions – and aims to dispel the negative stereotypes of veterans and the problems they may face.

Veterans can sometimes be overlooked by employers, who may find it hard to understand how military experience translates across to civilian job roles.

There are also misconceptions about mental health, with employers wary of taking on veterans because of perceived issues around the traumas they may have suffered during their time in the Forces. Managing employees with a disability often requires little more than flexibility, and The Employer Toolkit helps to “myth bust” and provide practical advice.

In fact, employers discover that far from being problematic, ex-Service personnel have a great work ethic and can-do attitude with strong leadership skills. A recent study by Deloitte found that more than half of organisations that employed veterans say that they tend to be promoted more quickly than the rest of their workforce in general.

It’s estimated that there are no fewer than 17,000 unemployed, disabled ex-Service men and women of working age. Last year there was an 85% increase in the number of veterans seeking help from The Poppy Factory to find work.

Many veterans face huge hurdles even to just secure an interview. As one veteran, Casper says: “I applied for lots of jobs…but having ticked ‘medically discharged’ [from the Forces] I just didn’t get in the door.”

But employers who do take on ex-Service personnel with health challenges find they are hardworking and valuable members of the workforce.

National Express actively supports The Poppy Factory in providing opportunities for veterans.

Roz Golds, National Express ‘Military Promise’ leader said:  “National Express is a longstanding supporter of the Armed Forces and immensely proud to be able to support veterans on their journey back into work after life in service.”

“Diversity is key to a strong workforce and veterans in particular bring strong skills sets to the table, including perseverance, team-working, problem-solving and leadership.

“We’d absolutely encourage other companies to look at The Employer Toolkit and see how working with veterans could make a positive difference to their business.”

Meri Mayhew, Deputy Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The Forces in Mind Trust is proud to sponsor The Poppy Factory’s toolkit to provide employers with the framework to support veterans in the workplace.

“Wounded, injured and sick ex-Service men and women have a great deal to contribute, with many bringing unique yet transferable skills and experiences to their workplaces. Employment does not just help veterans make a successful transition to civilian life but actively benefits employers as well.

“Understanding how best to approach the individual needs of ex-Service personnel in the workplace requires relatively little effort but can generate great outcomes not just for the individual, but also for the employer.”

The toolkit is divided into ten sections which cover everything from busting common myths about employing veterans, to mental health in the workplace, employment law and how to provide in-work support.

It also explains how The Poppy Factory can help both veterans and employers.

The Poppy Factory has a vision for a world in which every workplace values disabled veterans. The charity aims to provide the most effective employment support for its ex-Forces ‘clients’ and for employers alike.

The toolkit is available at www.poppyfactory.org/employers-toolkit

ENDS

Spokespeople from The Poppy Factory and FiMT are available for interview. For more information, please contact:

The Poppy Factory

Andy Drinkwater: 07799 408611

Andrew.drinkwater1@btinternet.com

Tabitha Aldrich-Smith: 07971 919610

tabitha@vespr.com

Nick Eaglesfield, Marketing & Communications Manager: 07909257955

nickeaglesfield@poppyfactory.org

FiMT

Meri Mayhew is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact

Kate Turner: 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944

kturner@theproffice.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

 About The Poppy Factory:

  • The Employer Toolkit was produced following recommendations from The Poppy Factory’s recent Employment in Mind report into the most effective employment support for those with health conditions (also funded by FiMT and produced by the Centre for Mental Health).
  • The Poppy Factory provides free employability support to with ex-Forces personnel with health challenges from all corners of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • From physical challenges, such as blindness and limb loss, to mental health conditions, such as anxiety and PTSD, the charity has nearly a century of experience employing veterans with health challenges. This knowledge helps to inform employers so that they can make any reasonable workplace adjustments, raising the standards to ensure veterans thrive in their new jobs.
  • Veterans have a wealth of transferable skills from their time in the Armed Forces, but some will find it difficult to translate these valuable skills into the ever-changing civilian jobs market. Often, this is down to the difficulty employers have in understanding how military experience translates practically into civilian job roles.
  • The Poppy Factory works with other military and welfare charities to provide holistic support, transforming the lives of veterans with disabilities and their families.
  • It is estimated that, by supporting over 700 veterans with health challenges into sustainable employment, The Poppy Factory’s programme has saved the State over £15m. This is based upon the 2013 Social Return On Investment score of £2.23 for every £1 spent on the Getting You Back to Work service (Poppy Factory SROI Report, Krystyna Szplit 2014), multiplied by the average cost of supporting a disabled veteran into sustainable employment that year  (£10,000), multiplied by 700 people.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall became Patron of The Poppy Factory in 2013
  • It is estimated that there are 17,000 unemployed ex-Service personnel of working age who have a disability , so there is a great need for the ‘Getting You Back to Work’ The Poppy Factory has a vision for a world in which every workplace values disabled veterans.
  • poppyfactory.org

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.  FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.

All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMtrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

 

 

 

New Forces in Mind Trust award: Anglia Ruskin University to research ways of supporting Commonwealth Personnel and families

A grant of £28,664 has been awarded to Anglia Ruskin University, to conduct an audit of services available for, and provided to, Commonwealth serving and ex-Service personnel and their families in order to identify their specific needs. This eight-month study will be an important first step in understanding the issues facing Commonwealth personnel and their families during their transition from military to civilian life.

This is the first time the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has funded a project or research specifically around the Commonwealth cohort serving in the UK Armed Forces, and/or their families, and it has been commissioned jointly with the Cobseo Foreign and Commonwealth (F&C) Cluster. There is little understanding of the transition into civilian life for this unique cohort, the scale of success, or how to enable successful and sustainable transition, although there is anecdotal evidence that the cohort experiences a disproportionately high number of issues.

The project will use a mixture of stakeholder interviews, surveys and desk research to build a better understanding of the issues and needs of the cohort so as to identify priorities for further research and to influence future policy and service delivery for the Cobseo F&C Cluster Group and wider organisations supporting the Commonwealth cohort.

Matt Fossey, Director of the Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin University said, “We are delighted to be working with Cobseo to explore the services available for Commonwealth personnel and their families. This is a very important piece of work that will help to inform improvements in service provision for a section of our military who experience their own unique challenges.”

Louise Simpson, AFF Policy & Research Director and Chair of the Cobseo Foreign and Commonwealth Cluster, said: “As Chair of the F&C Cobseo Cluster Group AFF is delighted at the news of this funding as it will really help us as a group to develop an action plan around tackling Commonwealth issues.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There is an evidence gap around the unique challenges faced by the Commonwealth cohort and the services and support available to them. It is right that there should be a proactive approach to ensure all groups of ex-Service personnel and their families receive focused support to improve their chances of a successful transition. This unique study, which we are very pleased to fund, offers the opportunity to better understand, and identify, future ways to improve outcomes for these ex-Service personnel and their families as they transition into civilian life.”

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 07824 119 171 or 0207 284 6961 or Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About Anglia Ruskin University:

Anglia Ruskin is an innovative global university, brimming with ambition. Students from 177 countries gain qualifications with us in four continents. Students, academics, businesses and partners all benefit from our outstanding facilities; we’ve invested £100 million over the last five years and plan to invest a further £91 million over the next five years.

Anglia Ruskin’s Research Institutes and five faculties bridge scientific, technical and creative fields. We deliver impactful research which tackles pressing issues and makes a real difference, fom saving lives to conserving water. Our academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 12 areas classed as generating world-leading research.

In 2016 we were ranked in the top 350 institutions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, featured in a list of the 20 “rising stars” in global Higher Education compiled by strategy consultants Firetail, and were named as one of the top 20 UK universities for teaching quality in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Learn more about the Veterans and Families Institute: http://www.anglia.ac.uk/health-social-care-and-education/research/research-groups/veterans-and-families-institute

Prince Harry joins Veterans’ Mental Health Conference Sponsored by Forces in Mind Trust

Leading veterans’ mental health experts gathered today (Thursday 16th March) to discuss international perspectives on the mental health of the Armed Forces Community. They were joined by Prince Harry at King’s College London for the annual event, which for the second year running was sponsored solely by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

World-class speakers from leading UK and international institutions working in the field of veterans’ mental health gave a series of wide-ranging presentations and hosted debates. Prince Harry led a panel discussion with three former members of the UK and US Armed Forces who spoke about their personal experiences of addressing and managing mental health challenges, and the importance of encouraging open conversations about mental health.

Prince Harry attended as part of the Heads Together campaign to change the conversation around mental health. Heads Together is a campaign spearheaded by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The one-day conference, which this year was entitled, ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – The Wider Perspective’, follows the success of the inaugural ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – Fact, Fiction and Future’ conference of 2015, and 2016’s ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – the Road Ahead’.

Hosted by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London, the event focused on issues ranging from the use of peers to improve treatment-seeking and the mental health of and support for Service families, to whether veterans’ mental health care should be part of mainstream services. Speakers from the United States, Canada, and Europe also highlighted their country’s perspective on veterans’ mental health.

The event was sold out weeks in advance with over 200 guests attending. Speakers from the public health, academic and Service charity sectors provided expert insights and latest research findings, including: Capt US Navy (Rtd) Robert Koffman, Semper Fi Fund and Warrior Canine Connection, on the therapeutic benefits of animals to improve veterans’ mental health; and Professor (Col) Eric Vermetten, Leiden University, on genetics and other novel therapies in the mental health of service veterans.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“We are delighted that HRH Prince Harry attended and participated in this year’s Veterans’ Mental Health Conference, and welcome the ‘Heads Together’ campaign’s contribution to tackling the stigma surrounding mental health. Overcoming stigma and preconceived negative ideas about mental health is a vital element in improving veterans’ mental well-being. We are once again proud to have been sole sponsor of this important annual knowledge sharing and networking event.

Professor Neil Greenberg from King’s College London said: “We set up this annual conference three years ago in order to provide high quality evidence and informed debate at a reasonable cost for those interested in this important topic. We were delighted to welcome HRH Prince Harry to the conference this year as well as a range of other excellent speakers. Once again the event was completely sold out, which highlights how much interest there is in understanding ‘what the truth is’ in what can sometimes be a rather poorly understood subject. We are highly appreciative that the Forces in Mind Trust agreed to sponsor the event again and the whole of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research team remains proud of the work we do to improve the lives of service personnel, serving or retired, and their families.

The full programme for the day was as follows:

Welcome from Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Panel talk with Prince Harry, Caroline Buckle, Ivan Castro, and Philip Eaglesham

‘Veterans’ Mental Health – A US Perspective’, Col Matthew Amidon USMC, The George W Bush Institute, Dallas, USA

‘Veterans’ Mental Health – A Canadian Perspective’, Professor Alice Aiken, Dalhousie University, Canada

‘Veterans’ Mental Health – A UK Perspective’, Col (Rtd) David Richmond CBE, Contact, UK

Debate: “This house believes that Veterans mental health care should be part of mainstream services”, Kate Davies OBE, NHS England and Sue Freeth, Combat Stress

‘The mental health of service families’, Professor Nicola Fear, the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London

‘Providing support for service families’, Dr Marie-Louise Sharpe (The Royal British Legion)

‘Treatment seeking, or lack of, of UK ex-Service personnel’, Dr Sharon Stevelink, the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London

‘The treatment of ex-Service personnel affected by complex trauma’, Dr Dominic Murphy, Combat Stress

‘The use of peers to encourage ex-Service personnel to seek mental healthcare’, Charlie Allanson-Oddy, NHS Lothian

‘Screening to improve the health of the Armed Forces’, Professor Neil Greenberg, Royal College of Psychiatrists

‘Genetics and other novel therapies in mental health of service veterans’, Professor (Col) Eric Vermetten, Leiden University, the Netherlands

‘Summing up and moving forward’, Professor Neil Greenberg, Royal College of Psychiatrists

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.  FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.

All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About King’s College London – www.kcl.ac.uk

King’s has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £600 million.

King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

King’s fundraising campaign – World questions | King’s answers – created to address some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity has reached its £500 million target 18 months ahead of schedule. The university is now aiming to build on this success and raise a further £100 million by the end of 2015, to fund vital research, deliver innovative new treatments and to support scholarships. The campaign’s five priority areas are neuroscience and mental health, leadership and society, cancer, global power and children’s health. More information about the campaign is available at www.kcl.ac.uk/kingsanswers.

New Forces in Mind Trust award: King’s College London to research secondary mental health treatment for ex-Service personnel

A grant of £158,999 has been awarded to King’s College London to conduct an 18-month feasibility study exploring the type of mental health problems UK veterans experience who actively access secondary mental health care, their pathway through treatment, the outcomes of the treatment they receive, and their socio-demographic profile.  The project will compare and contrast these findings with non-veterans (ie the general population) who access the same services, as well as UK veterans who access veteran-specific mental health care services.

Uniquely, the research will focus on secondary care which deals with more complex needs than primary care. The study will use the innovative Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system, which provides authorised researchers with regulated, secure access to anonymised information extracted from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s electronic clinical records.  For the first time, CRIS will be used to identify the specific mental health needs of veterans.  Additional information will be provided by the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, Combat Stress, on veterans accessing their specialist mental health care services.

Estimates of the UK veteran population range from three to five million. Research shows that a minority (between 4%-20%) may experience physical and mental health problems, some as a result of service, but the majority of those do not seek formal medical help.  For those that do, this study will help fill the knowledge gap concerning the mental health issues with which they present, whether they opt for the NHS secondary health care system or veteran specific treatment, what happens to them once in either of these treatment systems and the outcomes of the treatment they receive, and looking at what differences (if any) there may be when contrasted with the general population (where possible).

The research project will be conducted by Dr Sharon Stevelink, Study Coordinator of the Clinical Interview Study, part of the Health and Well-being Study Programme at King’s College London.

Dr Sharon Stevelink said: “We are very excited to start this novel project investigating treatment pathways for veterans with complex mental health issues. The unique collaboration with Combat Stress enables us to provide a comprehensive picture of mental health care services accessed by the veteran community. We hope that the research will enable us to tailor the provision of mental health services for veterans reaching out for support to combat their mental health difficulty.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There remains a significant dearth in evidence around the specific mental health needs, and treatment pathways and outcomes of UK ex-Service personnel accessing generic mental health secondary care services.  The findings from this uniquely placed study will inform mental health care policy makers and service providers in both the statutory and non-statutory sectors to plan resources that will best serve and treat this vulnerable cohort for whom transition to civilian life may be particularly challenging.”

ENDS

 Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.

All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMtrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/