New Grant Award: A systematic review and evidence map of research on the mental health needs of serving and ex-serving personnel

Forces in Mind Trust has awarded the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) £95,877 to conduct a systematic review of evidence of the mental health needs of serving and ex-Service personnel and their families since 2012.

The 9-month project will cover all three services, in the context of their transition to civilian life, and will include the perspectives of key stakeholders. Areas where the evidence is strong and where there are gaps in evidence will be recorded, and where evidence allows, recommendations will be made for the attention of policy makers and service providers, along with future areas on which to focus research.

The review will also include the construction of an evidence map of research on interventions to promote, detect, prevent and treat the mental health of serving and ex-Service personnel.

A comparison between the 2013 FiMT commissioned mental health review will also be undertaken to determine the continued relevance of previous findings and to assess where progress has been made on the report recommendations.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “One of the founding priorities of FiMT is ‘to promote better mental health and well-being’ and ‘to build organizations’ capacity to deliver evidence-based prevention and rehabilitation’. The Trust has worked hard to develop an understanding of the mental health environment, and to identify where it can best deploy its finite resources to maximum effect.

“The review by NatCen will ensure that we are utilizing the most accurate and up-to-date information, to ensure policy makers and service providers have the necessary information to act in the best interests of the minority of ex-Service personnel who need to access mental health support.”

Guy Goodwin, Chief Executive of NatCen said: “We’re delighted to be working with Forces in Mind Trust on this important project. It’s an excellent opportunity to improve our understanding of the mental health needs of current and ex-Service personnel, to help target support and care where required.”


Note to Editor:  Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on 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.

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.

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About the National Centre for Social Research:

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone. Website: Twitter: @natcen

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