Forces in Mind Trust has published a Policy Statement on Successful Transition to Civilian Life for Service leavers and their families, providing an overview of evidence and outlining the changes needed to improve the transition experience.
The Policy Statement explains that most of the 15,000 people who leave the UK Armed Forces each year make a successful transition to civilian life, their lives enriched by their time in service. However, for the minority who do struggle there are significant costs to the individual, family and society as a consequence.
Research has shown that some Service leavers are more likely to struggle with the process of transition including those who are:
- From UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds
- Non-UK citizens
- Medically discharged
- Early Service leavers (who have served four years or less).
Forces in Mind Trust’s policy position is also set out in the document. It states that the chances of making a successful transition to civilian life would be increased if all Service leavers and their families are able to prepare well and have access to appropriate support when and where they need it. This requires a more personalised approach to the transition process so that there is earlier and fuller engagement with the challenges and opportunities likely to arise during the move from military to civilian life.
The document also acknowledges that significant progress has been made to improve the transition process for Service leavers and their families, but argues that more needs to be done if the Government is going to achieve its aim of making the UK the best place to be a veteran. It will require an empowered system, an empowered civilian, a personalised transition process and accurate perceptions of veterans and the Armed Forces. You can read more about this in our Lifting Our Sights report, on page 17.
Forces in Mind Trust will continue to fund research and work with Government and other organisations that work with and support veterans to ensure all veterans and their families are able to make a successful transition into civilian life.