An 18-month study into the internal and external barriers to help seeking experienced by ex-Service personnel with mental health problems. The final report completed in Autumn 2017.

Recorded Impact

This research provided a comprehensive overview of the barriers for ex-Service personnel seeking support for mental health problems.  The report identified and increased awareness of the barriers to help seeking and found that stigma was not the primary barrier. Instead, being able to recognise and define a mental health difficulty, a belief that they were not worthy of help and practical issues of access were identified as some of the key barriers.


The report has been influential for several organizations and in the delivery of mental health services including:

  • Informing the re-designed of Help for Heroes’ beneficiary customer journey.
  • Informing the Samaritans’ military programme to identify when support might be beneficial and access to it.
  • Informing Combat Stress’ new service model.
  • Aiding NHS Birmingham in the recruitment of an Armed Forces Healthcare Navigator for Primary Care.
  • Informing the Royal Foundation on its strategy to improve mental health of the Armed Forces

The research also led to an additional grant from FiMT to increase the influence of the original project through funding the creation of a new self-help and self-recognition mental health toolkit app.  This project is ongoing.