Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, is delivering this conference’s opening address. Mr Mercer will be offering an overview of the work he and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs are undertaking, with a particular focus on improving mental healthcare provision in the ex-Service community.

Three newly created Executive Summaries for recently completed FiMT-funded mental-health related research projects are also being disseminated at the Conference to help inform all attendees of the important findings. The three summaries are for each of the following projects:

  1. The mental health needs of serving and ex-Service personnel: A review of the latest evidence and key stakeholder perspectives, conducted by the National Centre for Social Research
  2. A Randomised Control Trial of modular motion-assisted memory desensitisation & reconsolidation (3MDR) for treatment resistant PTSD, by Professor Jonathan Bisson, University of Cardiff
  3. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) in Military Personnel, by Professor Thanos Karatzias and Dr Dominic Murphy of Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Neil Kitchiner and Professor Karatzias will each present on one of the latter two projects above (Dr Neil Kitchiner having been keenly involved in the 3MDR University of Cardiff project above). The respective presentations are entitled: ‘3MDR as a treatment for veterans with PTSD’, and ‘PTSD and Complex PTSD in veterans: Assessment & Treatment’.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive at FiMT says:

“This conference promises to be as informative as it is exciting.  It will allow researchers to showcase their excellent work on the mental health issues most affecting ex-Service personnel, as well as share this with key stakeholders who can positively impact this area.

This is the fifth such conference that the Forces in Mind Trust has sponsored.  Every year has demonstrated how much value can be gained from convening this level of expertise, and subsequent collaboration between academics and stakeholders.  We are sure that previous years’ successes will be replicated, and look forward to seeing this conference’s positive contributions towards mental healthcare provision for ex-Service personnel.”

Professor Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health at Kings College London says:

“As in previous years it is fantastic to bring together colleagues in academia, the military, the public sector and service charities under one roof to discuss the innovative and impactful research that is happening across the UK and further afield in this area. By working collaboratively and closely with everyone involved we really hope to ‘bridge the gap’ in terms of improving our knowledge of veteran mental health and using this to develop effective approaches to improve the lives of military personnel, serving and retired, and their families.”