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Restorative approach to community based mental health support explored for ex-Service personnel and their families

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded Tros Gynnal Plant funds of £284,427 to enable them to pilot a three-year trial of a community based mental health support service for ex-Service personnel and their families from Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, who have a Service-related mental health problem.

Tros Gynnal Plant, a Wales based charity focusing on children, young people and families, will work alongside the current Veterans NHS Wales (VNHSW) service to help ex-Service personnel who have been referred to the VNHSW.

The first of its kind, the project will employ Restorative Engagement to help ex-Service personnel and their families improve their relationships, communication and family functioning. The restorative process is underpinned by participation, fairness, trust and empathy, which facilitate individual and family changes by building on existing family and individual strengths. In turn this leads to improved levels of self-esteem, confidence and autonomy.

The study from the trial will be undertaken by Cascade at Cardiff University, and will both qualitatively and quantitatively assess the impact on the following areas:

  • Family communication
  • Family relationships
  • Family ability and confidence to recognize and resolve problems
  • The problems and difficulties that triggered service use

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said: “This three-year community-based trial by Tros Gynnal Plant could help the relatively small number of Service families, who are in need of mental health support, transition more successfully and enable them to have a fulfilling and enriching family life. The length of this particular trial should produce robust evidence on the provisions required to help families, and to enable services to offer a tailored community-based support to those in need.

“As with all our work, we are keen to generate the evidence about if and how this model works, and subsequently ensure policy makers and service providers consider it as a means of supporting the Armed Forces Community.”

Jackie Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Tros Gynnal Plant said: “We are extremely grateful to FiMT and very proud and excited to be developing an intervention for ex-service personnel and their families.  Tros Gynnal Plant has successfully pioneered the use of Restorative Engagement methods with families and this funding from the FiMT will allow us to develop a much-needed service model aiming to enrich the family lives of ex-Servicemen and women that can then be adopted across the UK.”

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Note to Editor:  Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org or on 07956 101132 or 0207 901 8916.

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.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FiMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/