The Warrior Programme, a non-clinical training and education programme for veterans who are experiencing serious problems adjusting to civilian living, has embarked on a partnership with Southampton University to undertake a Randomised Control Trial (RCT), funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, to evaluate the programme’s impact on the transition of Service personnel into civilian life.

Dr Nick Maguire from the department of Psychology at Southampton University will be leading the RCT, which involves 50 participants. The aim of the trial is: to research and validate the techniques used to change individual attitudes and behaviour; to prove the role of the Warrior Programme over the long term: and to provide evidence-based research from which other services can benefit.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) was established in 2012 with a £35m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund in order to improve the success of Service men and women returning to civilian life, a process known as transition John Cummings, Director of The Warrior Programme, commented: ”We are delighted that FiMT is supporting our current research project by awarding Warrior a grant to conduct a Randomised Control Trial. This Research is well overdue and without the support and financial backing by FiMT we could not afford to conduct it. Importantly, it will establish best practice through the examination of the effectiveness of new interventions by an academic institution”.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust says: “Supporting research into projects such as The Warrior Programme is exactly why we were established. The funding of this Randomised Control Trial in particular will enable us to gain new and evidence-based insights into what contributes to a successful transition”.

The Warrior Programme teaches veterans tools and strategies to manage their emotions, reduce anxiety and fear and to improve their confidence in order to acquire focus and clarity for the future. The training begins to instil confidence and resilience, enabling participants to engage more effectively with other agencies which can meet their transition needs relating to housing, welfare and employment, ultimately leading to independence. When asked about her experience in the Warrior Programme, Helen Rawlinson said, ”Following on from Warrior I have had the strength to change factors which hindered me and I continue to hold down a successful career. I can’t recommend this programme enough. It not only put me back on the track I was hoping to be on, but equipped me with the tools to enable me to deal with almost anything.”