The Contact Group is the collaboration of third sector, statutory providers and support organisations which deliver mental health support to the UK Armed Forces community. Contact members work to ensure that the Armed Forces community is provided with the best possible mental health advice and support, and that treatment pathways are as good as they can be.
The award will fund a project officer and help with travel costs for the Group. This will enable Contact to continue to develop a substantial programme of work to help it achieve its aims of increasing the capacity of mental health services, developing best practice guidelines, supporting the planning of future services and understanding the needs of veterans.
Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “Contact is a unique and important organisation which plays a significant role in bringing together mental health providers from across the UK. This grant will provide Contact with the capacity it needs to continue its work in helping organisations to provide the best possible mental health support to the Armed Forces community.”
Dr Charles Winstanley, Chair of Contact Group, says: “Contact is grateful for this critical FiMT support. It will enable us to energetically collaborate within the sector, develop and promote consistency of approach, and provide an impartial view of the UK’s progress in looking after the mental health of the Armed Forces community.”
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 Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families 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.
Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/
About Contact Group:
Contact was established in 2016, and was initially funded by The Royal Foundation.
The core membership of Contact comprises the UK’s statutory and third sector providers of mental health services to the Armed Forces community, health policy makers and commissioners in England, Scotland, and Wales, together with sector researchers.
Associate members of Contact comprise organisations providing clinical and relevant non-clinical services to the armed forces community.
Contact is the mental health cluster for COBSEO.
The independent Chair of Contact is appointed in open competition, and is an unpaid role. Dr Charles Winstanley has a background in NHS leadership and is a former soldier.
The Group meet quarterly and hosts an annual sector workshop.
The FiMT grant provides all of Contact’s operating costs, principally the salary of a part-time project officer.