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New Forces in Mind Trust Award: King’s College London to explore Domestic Violence and Abuse among military spouses and partners

New Forces in Mind Trust Award: King’s College London to explore Domestic Violence and Abuse among military spouses and partner

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is delighted to award a grant of £153,272 to King’s College London (KCL), to conduct a study to explore the impact of life in the Armed Forces on relationships from the perspective of civilian spouses and partners, who have been victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) by their military counterparts.

The 18-month study aims to address the lack of evidence from the perspective of the spouse, and identify their attitudes to help-seeking and their perceptions of support available. This research is part of a larger study, seeking to establish prevalence and risk factors for DVA within the Armed Forces environment.

The research will consist of telephone interviews with spouses who have reported being victims of DVA. Participants will be sourced through military and civilian welfare support organisations, specific organisations for victims of domestic abuse, and through support groups for military spouses.

The prevalence of DVA perpetration and victimisation among UK military personnel is unknown.  The proposed study seeks to build on previous work and provide a more comprehensive account of the experiences of spouses and partners.

Dr Deirdre MacManus said: “We are delighted to be able to add this study to our portfolio of studies at King’s College London into Domestic Abuse among military populations. The funding from Forces in Mind Trust has allowed us to explore the experience of Domestic Abuse among spouses and partners of military personnel, which we would otherwise not have been able to do, and will inform the development of better support services for partners and families of military personnel.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive FiMT said: “There is a clear lack of evidence from the perspective of the those who experience Domestic Abuse by their military partners. We know that often victims of abuse, for a number of reasons, find it difficult to access support. This research will contribute to one of our top priority outcomes – health and wellbeing.

“The findings and recommendations of this study will help produce better intervention methods for the civilian spouses, as well as provide a more informed understanding of the challenges they face in seeking help. Input from the spouse is vital, and will help build a stronger evidence base from which service deliverers and policy makers could better support this particularly vulnerable group in the future.”

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Note to Editor:  Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org or on 07956 101132 or 0207 901 8916

To arrange an interview with Dr Deirdre MacManus, please contact Jack Stonebridge at jack.Stonebridge@kcl.ac.uk

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 University, which is going live in Autumn 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/

 

 

New Armed Forces charities sector leadership programme awards 22 fellowships

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful transition back to civilian life, Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities and Clore Social Leadership are delighted to announce details of the 22 successful emerging leaders who will take part in ‘Clore6: Cobseo’, a new leadership development programme for the Service charities sector.

The participants come from a wide variety of charities and include:  Glen Art, Housing Options Scotland, the Naval Families Federation, Stoll and the Royal British Legion. All participants will have the opportunity to utilise their applied learnings in team challenges to immediately transfer the skills they gain from the programme back into their organisations.

‘Clore6: Cobseo’ is a six-month programme, designed by Clore Social Leadership, in partnership with Cobseo, and Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), who are providing the programme’s core funding. Sector organisations were invited to nominate their future leaders, working to promote the welfare and general interests of the Armed Forces Community.

Aimed at emerging leaders in the Service charities sector, ‘Clore6: Cobseo’ seeks to develop a cadre of leaders to provide robust and effective leadership for their organisations and sector. The programme is built around Clore Social Leadership’s Social Leaders’ Capabilities Framework, which illustrates the attributes, behaviours and skills for successful leadership.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust and Executive Committee member of Cobseo said: “The 22 participants of this exciting new programme have a fantastic opportunity to develop their leadership potential. By funding the core costs of the project, Forces in Mind Trust has made the programme affordable for all sizes of Service charities, demonstrating our commitment to investing in innovative approaches that will enhance the effectiveness of the sector.

“The quality of the applications received was exceptionally high, and I look forward to seeing how the participants develop during the programme.”

Shaks Ghosh, CEO of Clore Social Leadership commented: “This investment in leadership means that Service charities will have fantastic future leaders who will ensure their organisations thrive in times of rapid change within the social sector, and beyond.”

This is the third Clore6 programme following a successful pilot programme for emerging leaders from the Youth Sector which completed in March 2017, and a Clore6 Open programme for leaders from the wider social sector which is currently running.  Upon successful completion of the Clore6 programmes, participants will join Clore Social Leadership’s network of Fellows.

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Notes to editors:

The 22 participants are:

Abby Dryden, Head Of Operations, Defence Medical Welfare Service

Alice Farrow, Head of Communications, Cobseo

Andrew Smith, Regional Operations Manager, Combat Stress

Andrew Stickels, Volunteer Manager, Royal British Legion Industries Ltd

Bridget Nicholson, Director of Evidence and Strategy, Naval Families Federation

Clare Scherer, Assistant Director, Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund

Deborah Layde, Grants Director, Seafarers UK

Fiona MacDonald, Director, Glen Art

Fraser Gilmore, Engagement & Development Manager, Housing Options Scotland

Gordon Craig, Director of Fundraising & Marketing, The Royal Star & Garter Homes

Jane Williams, Director of Operations and Families Engagement NFF

Julian Coates, Veterans’ Nomination Scheme Project Manager, Stoll

Kirsty Scullion, Trust and Major Grant Fundraising Manager, Alabaré

Nigel Shattock, Director of Fundraising & Communications, Seafarers UK

Rebecca Warren, Head of Public Relations, The Royal British Legion

Richard Hanson, External Grants Manager, The Royal British Legion

Robert Thorburn, Grants Officer, FiMT

Samantha Cherrill, Housing Manager, SSAFA

Sharon Somerville, Head of Health Care Quality, SSAFA

Tim Willis-Crowley, Senior Veterans’ Outreach Officer, Stoll

Tony Wright, CEO Founder, Forward Assist

Umesh Parekh, Head of Information Services, Blind Veterans UK

For press enquiries please contact Léann Lavery on leann@cloresocialleadership.org.uk or call 020 7812 3771.

About Clore Social Leadership

Clore Social Leadership is committed to social change. We find and develop leaders with a social purpose so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them. We offer a range of leadership development programmes, short courses and leadership innovations.

For more information, please visit www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk and join the conversation on Twitter @CloreSocial.

For press enquiries 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 Cobseo:

For further information about Cobseo, contact Alice Farrow, Head of Communications (a.farrow@cobseo.org.uk or 07966 886180)

Cobseo exists to represent the needs of its membership comprising 279 Full and Associate Members, including Service and civilian charities and organisations, which support Serving and ex-Serving personnel and their families.  It uses its collective strength to inform, guide and influence those who engage with the Armed Forces community in order to provide the best possible level of support to beneficiaries, and does so through the facilitation and encouragement of cooperation and collaboration.

www.cobseo.org.uk or www.twitter.com/Cobseo

New Forces in Mind Trust Award: Galahad Substance Misuse Solutions Limited to study impact of compulsory drug discharge on soldiers’ transition

Forces in Mind Trust has awarded a grant of £175,800 to Galahad SMS Ltd (Galahad), to conduct a study exploring the experiences of those who have been discharged from the British Army for drug use.

This is the first piece of research that looks specifically at the effect that a discharge, due to a failed drug test, has on the Service leaver and on their family. The 18-month study will address the current lack of data relating to ex-Service personnel’s misuse of drugs and the impact on all areas of transition.

Galahad has worked with the MOD since 1997, conducting numerous studies on drug, alcohol and steroid misuse. Due to its ongoing work with the MOD, Galahad has unique access to soldiers, including those who test positive on a compulsory drug test (CDT) before they leave the Army. This study will, for the first time, track a cohort of CDT positive soldiers for up to one year.

The aim of this research is to assess the impact of a CDT discharge on subsequent substance misuse, mental health and overall readjustment to civilian life.   To do so, this study will, for the first time, track a cohort of CDT positive soldiers for up to one year.  Among other issues, the study will explore pathways into and out of substance misuse, and reasons underlying the misuse.

Dr Anne Fox at Galahad said: “We are delighted to be working with the Forces in Mind Trust and the King’s Centre for Military Health Research on this unique research project and grateful to them and to the Big Lottery Fund for this exciting opportunity. Although several studies have focussed on substance misuse among serving soldiers and among all veterans, no study has investigated the impact of a CDT discharge on subsequent substance misuse, mental health and overall readjustment to civilian life. An increased understanding of how, when and why soldiers use illegal substances (and misuse alcohol) will also assist the Armed Forces with prevention, rehabilitation and resettlement efforts. ”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There’s a clear lack of evidence on the challenges faced by Service leavers who have been discharged after failing a compulsory drugs test. This group may not attract much sympathy for their circumstances; but many will have served their country selflessly and in any case we owe it to society to ensure that they and their family’s transition to civilian life is as successful as possible. This study offers the opportunity to better understand why soldiers may start taking drugs in Service in the first place, and what may be done to dissuade others from doing so in the future.  It will also give important insights as to the impact of discharge due to substance misuse, from which we will identify how to improve the chances of successful and sustainable transition.”

<<ENDS>>

 Note to Editor: Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange please contact Tina McKay on 07956 101 132 or 020 7901 8916. Email co@fim-trust.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 Galahad Substance Misuse Solutions Limited

Galahad SMS Ltd was founded in 1997 by Dr Anne Fox, originally for researching drug and alcohol misuse in the Armed Forces and creating bespoke educational programs.

Between 1995 and 1997, Dr Fox and Simon Bradley were involved in the MCM Research studies into Drugs and Alcohol in the British Army in the late 1990’s. In 1996, the research was widened to underpin the CDT (Compulsory Drug Testing) program and to identify and develop approaches to drug education that would work in the Army.

For more information please visit www.galahad.co.uk

Work with FiMT: Operations Manager

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is currently recruiting a full time Operations Manager (OM).  Based in Victoria, London, the OM is responsible for the delivery of effective and efficient operations of the Trust and all associated supporting functions. The OM line manages the Executive Assistant and acts on behalf of the CE when required.

FiMT was established in 2011 with a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund to spend over a 20-year period on providing UK-wide support and advocacy for ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful transition back to civilian life.  The Trust awards grants and commissions research to generate an evidence base to influence and underpin policy makers and service deliverers.  Our grant funding programme is a key component of achieving this aim, and is currently set at around £3m per year. Follow this link for a job description

To apply, please email a CV (no more than 2 sides of A4) and a covering letter for the attention of Ray Lock to ea@fim-trust.org

The deadline for applications is 29th September 2017. Interviews will be held on 12th October in Central London.

New Forces in Mind Trust Award: Army Families Federation research symposium

A grant of £3,000 has been awarded to the Army Families Federation (AFF) by the Forces in Mind Trust, to hold a research symposium in partnership with King’s Centre for Military Research this November, at the Victory Services Club, London.

Following the success of the event in 2015, AFF had planned to hold a second symposium in June this year. However, due to the terrorist attack that took place around London Bridge the weekend before the symposium, the event was postponed.  Without additional funding, it would not have been possible to re-schedule the symposium for the foreseeable future.

The aim of the symposium remains to enable those researching the impact of service on Armed Forces families to ensure that they provide evidence that will be relevant and helpful, and can be used to influence changes in policy and service delivery.

Sara Baade, Chief Executive of AFF, said: “We are delighted that the AFF research conference can now go ahead, thanks to the support from FiMT. We’re an evidence-based charity that relies on the very latest unerring research to help support us, as we campaign for new policy directions and changes to better support Army families. The research conference is therefore a very important event on our annual calendar and we are very grateful for FiMT’s support in this.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of FiMT, said: “We know from our Families Engagement Programme, and the report we published in March 2015, that Service families can feel overlooked. Families form an integral component of successful transition for Service leavers moving back to civilian life. This symposium will give AFF the opportunity to provide a clear and credible voice for this particular group of the Armed Forces Community, which can be unheard.  We are delighted our modest award will now allow the symposium to take place following the terrible events of 3rd June.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Tina McKay at co@fim-trust.org or on 07956 101 132 or 020 7901 891

 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 University, which is going live in Autumn 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/

AFF

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world – on any aspect that is affected by Army life.

  • AFF is independent of the Army and is often pivotal in achieving improvements for Army families such as changes to Government and military policy and changes to how things are provided for families. For more information visit www.aff.org.uk
  • AFF’s operates by four core values which are pivotal to our work. These are:

– AFF always puts families first

– AFF can be trusted

– AFF is bold and determined

– AFF is inclusive

  • For more information about AFF, contact AFF Director of Communications and Marketing, Donna Bernard, commsmarketingdirector@aff.org.uk

Work with FiMT: Evaluation and Exploitation Officer

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is currently recruiting a full time Evaluation and Exploitation Officer.  Based in Victoria, London. Reporting to the Head of Policy, the EEO will work as part of the Policy, Influence and Evaluation Team to support the delivery of FiMT’s research and evaluation objectives.

FiMT was established in 2011 with a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund to spend over a 20-year period on providing UK-wide support and advocacy for ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful transition back to civilian life.  The Trust awards grants and commissions research to generate an evidence base to influence and underpin policy makers and service deliverers.  Our grant funding programme is a key component of achieving this aim, and is currently set at around £3m per year.

Follow this link for a job description

To apply, please email a CV (no more than 2 sides of A4) and a covering letter for the attention of Meri Mayhew to ea@fim-trust.org The deadline for applications is: 22nd September 2017. Interviews will be held on 5th October in central London.

 

 

Forces in Mind Trust launches the Transition Mapping Study 2017: Continue to Work Report

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women, and their families, make a successful transition back to civilian life, today [25th July 2017] launched its Continue to Work report by Kantar Futures, at the Royal Air Force Club, London

The report (a follow-up of the original Transition Mapping Study published in 2013) has a threefold purpose: to review research and activity around the area of transition since 2013; to increase understanding of skills transfer and employment post-transition; and to update the quantitative model of the costs of poor transition from the original report.

The report found that progress has been made towards implementing the recommendations made in the 2013 Transition Mapping Study. Key developments are: the inclusion of Early Service Leavers in the resettlement provision provided by the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), the launch of the VeteransGateway in April 2017 as a single point of contact for leavers, and greater co-ordination among leavers’ charities.

The costs of poor transition projected by the model are £105m in 2017, climbing slightly to £110m in 2020, rounded to the nearest million pounds. This compares with £114m in 2012 (from TMS13). The four largest areas of cost are: Family breakdown; common mental health disorders and PTSD; harmful drinking; and unemployment. 

 The Continue to Work report identified areas that need improvement. Further recommendations include:

·       The need to create a right of ‘permission to prepare’ for leavers so they are not disadvantaged by operational requirements

·       Adding a visioning component to the transition process that encourages the leaver to consider what type of civilian they want to be, beyond work

·       Providing greater exposure to those in transition to civilian workplaces

·       Research into those who do not register for CTP support to understand their reasons

 The event was hosted by Andrew Barnett, Director at FiMT and CEO of Calouste Gulbenkian and included an overview briefing from FiMTs Chief Executive, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE.

 Ray Lock said: Much has happened since we published our original Transition Mapping Study in 2013. We are encouraged to see the improvements described in the report, such as new support for Early Service Leavers, but we are determined that the remaining recommendations are acted upon.”

 You can get a copy of the report here

<<Ends>>

Notes to Editor

Ray Lock is available for interview contact:

Tina McKay at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org / direct dial: 020 7901 891

Andrew Curry, Kantar Futures and Tim Cooper, Arkenford will be available post launch

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 Funds 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 University, 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/

About Kantar Futures

Kantar Futures is an award-winning, global strategic insight and innovation consultancy. Unparalleled global expertise in foresight and futures enables Kantar Futures to unlock new sources of growth for clients through a range of consultancy, global insight and a range of subscription solutions.

http://www.thefuturescompany.com

New Forces in Mind Trust funded project: Novel approach to treating post-traumatic stress disorder

A novel approach could soon play a significant role in helping British military veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), thanks to a new Cardiff University research project.

Funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and supported by Health and Care Research Wales, the study will seek to help veterans who have not responded to current first line PTSD treatments.

The two-year study will investigate the effectiveness of a new therapy known as 3MDR, where patients walk on a treadmill whilst interacting with a series of self-selected images that are related to their trauma, and displayed on a large screen. The aim of this therapy is to help patients learn how to move through their avoidance by, literally, approaching their traumatic memories.

Psychological therapy with a focus on the traumatic event is the treatment of choice for PTSD and can be very helpful but, unfortunately, treatment resistance is high.  Preliminary results from research conducted in the Netherlands suggest that 3MDR may help veterans with treatment resistant, combat-related PTSD.  The aim of the new study is to determine the efficacy of 3MDR in the treatment of British military veterans with treatment-resistant and combat-related PTSD and to explore what factors influence outcome.

The study will be led by Professor Jonathan Bisson of the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. Therapy will be delivered to veterans in contact with Veterans NHS Wales in a specially designed facility.  Researchers hope that exposure to trauma-related images, enhanced with walking and music will eliminate cognitive avoidance – a coping strategy that can contribute to the worsening of PTSD symptoms.

Professor Jonathan Bisson, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University School of Medicine, said: “There is an urgent need to identify effective treatments for military veterans who do not respond to, or are unable to engage with, current first line treatments.

“Around 4% of British military veterans suffer from PTSD, which often causes significant distress to them and those around them, along with considerable financial and social impact. This new method of treatment could offer new hope for veterans with PTSD who are currently facing the prospect of life with a chronic and enduring disorder.”

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, added: “Improving our understanding of veterans’ mental health and effective treatments has been a priority of the Forces in Mind Trust since the Trust’s inception. PTSD has a major impact on the quality of life of a small minority of veterans and it is important that we look at new and viable ways of helping some of those people whose mental health issues can be the hardest to treat.  This is an exciting and innovative approach justifying further exploration which we are very pleased to support.”

During the study, researchers will regularly assess the symptoms of PTSD in patients receiving treatment in order to measure its clinical efficacy. The findings will be presented in a report at the end of the project.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

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 University, 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/

About Cardiff University:

  • Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked the University 5th in the UK for research excellence. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans.  Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff’s flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to pressing global problems. www.cardiff.ac.uk

 

 

 

Online tools shown to work to help cut drinking in former soldiers

UK Armed Forces personnel moving back into civilian life and having difficulties with alcohol could be helped by the use of online tools, a new study has revealed.

The research led by Newcastle University, published in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, shows that web-based programmes may be an effective way to tackle excess alcohol consumption.

Findings by the experts have now been used to develop new documents funded by the Forces in Mind Trust to summarise the effectiveness of interventions to protect the wellbeing of those in the military.

Research has highlighted that two in three men in the UK Armed Forces are defined as drinking harmful amounts compared with just over one in three in the general population.

Online support

The study, led by Dr Sarah Wigham, Research Associate at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience, reveals that online support worked especially when it involved personalised feedback.

It also found some effectiveness of electronic reminders prompting medical professionals to give advice.

Dr Wigham said: “This research could offer a lifeline to someone leaving the Armed Forces, or their family, as it shows that an online tool can help them cut back if they are concerned about their drinking.

“We know that if alcohol is used to help someone cope it may complicate the process of moving back to civilian life, for example, by exacerbating any mental health symptoms, or causing further issues such as difficulty sleeping or relationship problems.

“These quick internet tools were shown to be useful to people who may otherwise be reluctant to seek help as a way of reducing the amount of alcohol consumed.”

An information sheet on the study’s findings can be found at the Forces in Mind Trust website as the charity funded this research. Later this year, two further documents will be published summarising the overall findings and interventions for wellbeing.

Unique pressures and demands

Brief interventions in the study included an individual recording online the amount of alcohol they had consumed recently, receiving personalised information on what this translates to in equivalent units of alcohol, calories, financial cost and other indicators which may be motivators to cut down.

It also includes information on mental health, pros and cons of drinking, setting goals and coping strategies for situations in which an individual may be tempted to drink more than usual.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Most members of the Armed Forces transition into civilian life successfully, however, evidence indicates that a small number may have unhealthy levels of alcohol consumption. It can be difficult for these individuals to identify how to access support for their drinking, or even whether they have a problem.

“One of the Forces in Mind Trust’s research priorities is alcohol and substance misuse, including effective and appropriate interventions.

“We would welcome further research to identify the positive impact these brief interventions could have specifically on the Armed Forces community to promote healthier transitions into civilian life.”

Newcastle University’s study showed that brief interventions can promote awareness of the health effects, and social or occupational effects of harmful levels of drinking.

Dr Wigham said: ‘’The study findings and the new documents will be of benefit to policy makers and service deliverers by helping to inform decisions on which interventions to fund and develop.’’

The online tools encourage people to drink in moderation rather than enforcing abstinence and can prompt them to think about the amount of alcohol they are consuming, increase awareness of any negative health and social effects, and may help them make different choices or change habits.

Interventions found to have an impact on moderating alcohol consumption included those delivered over the internet and using personalised feedback, and that had been developed specifically for Armed Forces personnel.

Coping with change

Data was collected from currently serving and former male members of the Armed Forces in the USA.

The study focused on military personnel moving back into civilian life as this can require simultaneous adjustments to job, housing, location, finances, relationships and family life. For some, these life changes coming together may increase their susceptibility to stress which in turn can lead to people drinking more than the healthy recommended levels of alcohol.

The researchers examined a number of online programmes including ‘VetChange’ and ‘Drinker’s Check-Up’ and further information can be found on the Forces in Mind Trust website.

Dr Wigham said: “This study will benefit those moving back into civilian life by highlighting the effectiveness of some alcohol brief interventions including those delivered online. This will help service providers develop and trial similar systems for the UK.”

The study is a collaboration with Teesside University and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor of Alcohol and Public Health Research at Teesside University, is co-author of the study.

She said: “This is a really important piece of work which highlights, not only the levels of risky drinking former soldiers have, but also addresses ways in which we can help them to reduce their risky drinking.

“The research clearly shows that those leaving the Armed Forces are consuming higher levels of alcohol and more work needs to be done to support them in their transition into civilian life.”

The study is part of Newcastle Academic Health Partners, a collaboration involving Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University.

Newcastle Academic Health Partners harnesses world-class expertise to ensure patients benefit sooner from new treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies.

Reference

A systematic review of the effectiveness of alcohol brief interventions for the UK military personnel moving back to civilian life

Sarah Wigham, A Bauer, S Robalino, J Ferguson, A Burke, D Newbury-Birch

Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Doi: 10.1136/jramc-2016-000712

Research referenced:

Fear NT, Iversen A, Meltzer H, et al. Patterns of drinking in the UK Armed Forces. Addiction 2007;102:1749–59.

Notes to Editors:

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 University, 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/