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FiMT to support six Specialist Fellows on Clore Social’s 2019 Experienced Leader Programme

Clore Social Leadership has opened recruitment for its 2019 Experienced Leader Programme. The one-year programme, starting in February, is open to individuals with six or more years’ experience as a social sector leader and the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has pledged support for six funded Specialist Fellowships.

The Experienced Leader Programme helps build social leadership capabilities, confidence, effectiveness, self-awareness, resilience and overall impact through working with others, and comprises a number of activities including executive coaching, action learning and a secondment.  The FiMT Fellowships aim to promote leadership within and connections between the military and social sectors, for those who have ambition to drive social change in their communities and organisations and have an interest in the Armed Forces Community.

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

“We are delighted to continue the support for the Clore programme for Experienced Leaders that we began in 2015. This opportunity will further grow our cohort of some 10 Clore FiMT specialist fellows, and we know will offer great benefits to the individuals involved and their respective organisations.  If we invest in the leaders of today we will increase the capability of the sector to make innovative and lasting change.”

Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of Clore Social Leadership said:

“The Armed Forces and Service Charities sector is a great example of like-minded organisations working together to address shared challenges by supporting and investing in their current and future leaders. We are delighted that the Forces in Mind Trust is supporting our 2019 Experienced Leader Programme and look forward to working with a new cohort of FiMT supported leaders over the next year.”

For more information and to apply see https://www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk/programmes/experienced-leader-programme.

ENDS

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex PTSD in ex-Service personnel

Thanks to a grant award of £97,444 by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) to Edinburgh Napier University, an innovative research project will test how prevalent a new type of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), known as Complex PTSD (CPTSD)*, is in ex-Service personnel in order to provide more appropriate treatment.

This is the first study to test the theory on ex-Service personnel, though 10 previous studies have supported there being a difference between the two disorders. CPTSD culminates from childhood trauma and multiple traumatisation and there is a need for a different treatment approach to PTSD.

Previous research has shown CPTSD often requires a more lengthy, well-coordinated treatment plan with different interventions than that offered to those suffering non-complex PTSD.

There is evidence to suggest a substantially high percentage of military personnel will have been exposed to childhood trauma and/or multiple combat stressors commonly associated with CPTSD and, following various studies suggesting veterans with PTSD have poorer treatment responses to non-veterans, researchers of this study believe the reason for this is that many veterans would meet the criteria for CPTSD and as such, require a different treatment approach for it to be successful.

Researchers will determine the prevalence of this new category of PTSD in UK ex-Service personnel for the first time using the International Trauma Questionnaire. This will determine if there are distinct groups of participants with symptoms reflecting the two differing sibling disorders of PTSD and CPTSD, and will determine how presentations of PTSD and CPTSD differ in these groups.

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

“This is highly significant research that will enable more tailored treatment to be provided to ex-Service personnel suffering Complex PTSD. Findings from this project have the potential to transform how the post-Service community are cared for in the UK, improving the well-being of the individuals concerned, and indirectly the quality of life of their families.”

Professor Thanos Karatzias, Professor of Mental Health and Director of Research at Edinburgh Napier University, said:

“We are really excited to have received funding to explore the newly released ICD-11 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) in military personnel for the very first time. CPTSD requires a different, more intensive treatment approach than PTSD but at the moment it is unknown how many people are affected by it. By describing the nature and extent of these two conditions, we will be in a better position to describe how to triage veterans presenting with traumatic stress in order to identify those individuals who require more intensive treatment.

“We envisage that findings from this study will help improve service user experiences of treatment, reduce treatment drop-out and improve treatment outcomes for veterans with CPTSD.”

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Novel approach sees success in treating former Service personnel with PTSD

A new approach in offering treatment to former Service personnel with mental health conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) launched today, Thursday 6th September, has revealed positive results.

A year-long tele-therapy pilot study, funded by The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and undertaken by Combat Stress, has shown it to be an accessible, flexible and cost-effective approach to delivering trauma-focused therapies. Tele-therapy provides therapy through a live video connection, over the internet such as Skype.

The purpose was to trial an alternative type of therapy to overcome issues that prevent veterans from seeking help. Despite there being a higher prevalence of mental health difficulties among former service personnel compared to the general population, research of UK veterans has suggested that only 30-50% of those with mental health issues access services for support. A number of reasons have been suggested for this, including issues related to stigma, practical issues around not being able to access services due to time constraints, and not knowing where to turn for support.

Evidence from the tele-therapy study shows it to be an accessible, flexible and cost-effective approach to delivering trauma-focused therapies.

Recommendations were made by Dr Dominic Murphy, lead author of the study, about using tele-therapy to treat more veterans in future, these include:

  • Preparing veterans for the demands of the therapy.
  • Ensuring tele-therapy is offered formally in the same way as outpatient therapy, e.g. a formal attendance and appointment policy.
  • Allowing flexibility by creating evening appointments to ensure veterans can attend.
  • Having a clear protocol to deal with technical difficulties, such as poor internet connection, which can result in sudden termination of therapy-session communication.

Veterans attending Combat Stress’ treatment centres were invited to take part in tele-therapy, with a total of 54 people asked, resulting in 27 participants.

Data was collected about treatment uptake, attendance, drop-out rates, time to complete therapy and the cost per case. Quantitative analyses were used to assess the effectiveness of tele-therapy using self-report measures of PTSD, anxiety, depression, anger and alcohol use.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The findings from this pilot study show that tele-therapy is an approach to treatment that could benefit ex-Service personnel, in particular those who find it difficult to engage in face-to-face therapy. The recommendations and lessons learned in this trial offer an opportunity for policymakers and service providers to take tele-therapy forward as a cost-effective, feasible and acceptable service for UK Veterans with PTSD.”

Dr Dominic Murphy, Head of Research at Combat Stress and lead author of the study, said: “We were pleased with our results. Importantly, we had positive feedback from veterans telling us they found tele-therapy to be a good way to receive support.  Several people told us that they were not able to engage in face-to-face therapy but tele-therapy allowed to them to complete treatment.”

You can read the full report here

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