The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, has awarded a grant of £31,729 to Newcastle University to carry out a systematic review of alcohol screening and brief interventions (SBIs) for Service personnel prior to their transition to civilian life.

The project aims to increase the understanding of the utility of well-being interventions, including alcohol screening and brief interventions during the time leading up to transition into civilian life.  For example SBIs are low intensity early interventions for identifying risky levels of alcohol consumption combined with information or advice. The evidence from this review will be used to influence policy makers, and inform researchers, clinicians and service providers in their work with the Service and ex-Service community.

Most Service personnel make the transition back to civilian life very successfully. However, for the small number who experience difficulties, the period of transition may be a particular time of susceptibility to reduced well-being because of the associated adjustments to a number of life changes required.

The study, which is led by Dr Sarah Wigham (Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience); with Shannon Robalino (Newcastle University’s Institute of Health & Society) and Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch from Teesside University, will be carried out over several months (due to be published in September 2016) and will summarise existing research and reports on the effectiveness of SBIs. It will serve to inform the signposting of healthy coping strategies when transitioning to civilian life. It will also identify gaps in current knowledge to date on this topic and therefore highlight future research priorities.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said: “An individual’s sense of wellbeing is an important aspect of transition. This systematic review will make a valuable contribution to our understanding of how earlier interventions could lead to a more successful transition for those who may be vulnerable to difficulties.”

Dr Sarah Wigham at Newcastle University said: ‘’I am delighted that our application to Forces in Mind Trust has been successful. For the small number of Service personnel who find transition to civilian life challenging this review will gather evidence of interventions, which can be implemented prior to transition to best facilitate well-being.”

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Notes to Editors
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About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery 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 the 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:
  • Useful links

About Newcastle University

  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University
  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2014)
  • Ranked 16th in the UK for global research power (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 10th overall in the UK and 3rd for quality of staff/lecturers in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015
  • Winner: Outstanding Leadership and Management Team and Outstanding Procurement Team, Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015
  • Amongst our peers Newcastle is:
    • Joint 6th in the UK for student satisfaction
    • Ranked 1st in the UK for Computing Science research impact, 3rd in the UK for Civil Engineering research power and 11th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences research (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 8th in the UK for Medical and Life Sciences research quality (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 3rd in the UK for English, and in the top 12 for Geography, Architecture and Planning, and Cultural and Media Studies research quality (REF 2014)
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) top 20 strategic partner
  • 94% of our students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating
  • We have a world-class reputation for research excellence and are spearheading three major societal challengesthat have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing, Sustainability, and Social Renewal
  • Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysia which opened in 2011
  • 90% Satisfaction level from our international students (ISB 2014)
  • Newcastle University Business School is one of 20 Triple Accredited Business Schools in the UK