Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), in collaboration with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research, has issued its first highlight notice under its recently launched multi-million pound Mental Health Research Programme, a 5 year programme established to encourage high quality research in the field of veterans’ and their families’ mental health.

The aim of this highlight notice is to encourage applications through the Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP) that propose innovative ways to understand and address substance misuse and addiction amongst ex-Service personnel. This includes alcohol, legal and illegal drug use, and the impact on former Armed Forces personnel and their families.

A FiMT-commissioned review of serving and ex-Service personnel’s mental health identified alcohol misuse as a key priority for veterans’ mental health, describing it as a ‘major public health issue’.  The review highlighted the need to address:

  • causes of alcohol use and misuse
  • the effectiveness of alcohol-related interventions
  • the relationship between alcohol consumption and other mental health conditions
  • issues of long term alcohol misuse and dependency
  • the lack of existing evidence on other types of substance misuse and addictive behaviours beyond alcohol including recreational drug use, self-medication, gambling, and misuse of prescription medicines or ‘body enhancement’ substances

The MHRP welcomes research proposals that address any of these aspects of substance misuse and addiction in relation to UK ex-Service personnel and their families.

FiMT’s MHRP plans to issue highlight notices every six months to encourage research in priority areas around veterans’ mental health, taking into consideration other research taking place in this field, service user and deliverer feedback, and any other contextual factors that may affect the Programme’s priorities.

All funding opportunities relating to the MHRP can be found at this link:

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Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact: Talia Cohen at The PR Office on / direct dial: 0207 284 6957

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. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans
  • The aim of FiMT is to provide an evidence base which will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.
  • FiMT awards grants (both reactive and proactive) and commissions research along three key themes: Evidence, Innovation and Collaboration. All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made. Read more about those FiMT have helped and reports they have published at the links below: