1.Barnardo’s: Understanding the family support needs of veteran offenders, their families and children.
Researcher’s name: Leonie Harvey-Rolfe, Barnardo’s NICCO (National Information Centre for Children of Offenders)
Who can participate? UK Armed Forces veterans who have served prison sentences who are fathers.
Outline of project: Exploring what support ex-military personnel in prison and their families need during and after their sentence. How do prison sentences impact on veterans and their families? What helps veterans to stay connected to their families while they are in custody? Who currently provides support to veterans and their families? The information shared will help to shape services of the future to ensure that the support veterans and their families need is available at the time that they need it.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact number: 07702011050
2. UWE/ Scar Free Foundation: Understanding Needs and Interventions for the Treatment of Scarring (UNITS): The Psychosocial impact of conflict-related disfigurement
Researcher’s name: Professor Di Harcourt, University of West England, Bristol
Who can participate? UK veterans who have sustained an appearance-altering injury during operations or training since 1969, and their spouse/partner.
Outline of project: This project is funded by the Scar Free Foundation (https://scarfree.org.uk/) and aims to examine the experiences of military personnel/veterans and their families, who sustained an appearance-altering injury during operational deployment or field training any time since 1969. This research will provide insight into the appearance-related concerns of those affected by conflict-related appearance-altering injuries and their psychological impact, determine their support needs, and ascertain how these might differ from the experiences and needs of those whose visible difference is unrelated to military conflict.
Contact email: TBC
Contact number: TBC
Counting the cost
Help for Heroes and King’s College London (KCL) have released the results of their Counting the Cost study.Read more
Planned Dream Intervention approach for stopping traumatic nightmares in UK veterans: a multi-site control trial
Researcher's name: Justin Havens
University: Anglia Ruskin University
Outline of project: The core concept of this approach was that dream content can be influenced by conscious thoughts and imagery and that this can be used to permanently end a nightmare. Justin’s work involved teaching behavioural skills to individuals to provide the capability for them to stop their own nightmares. TBC….
BBC news clip: https://youtu.be/cmRgatng0s4
Next Steps: Justin has trained up therapists in the London Fire Brigade, Rape Crisis and Combat Stress and has spoken at the European Traumatic Stress Studies Conference on this work and is also about to crowdfund to create a 5-minute teaching video using animations and voiceover. TBC….
Surveys and Polling
‘CUT THE CLOCK’ CAMPAIGN - JANUARY 2019
In January 2019, a Help for Heroes poll (conducted by YouGov) revealed that Armed Forces Veterans are delaying asking for help with their mental health (including PTSD) for almost four years partly due to believing civilian services will not understand or support them (28%) and a fear of being treated differently by friends (25%) and family (19%).
MP Polling – June 2018
In June 2018, we surveyed MPs again and found only 39% of MPs polled believe the Government should have spent LIBOR funds on refurbishing MOD property.
In the same poll, mental health and welfare were considered the areas where Veterans seek support the most, followed by camaraderie/fellowship and careers. Very few MPs considered Veterans in need of financial support or recovery through sport and recreational activities.
The majority of MPs polled (84%) agree that NHS Trusts should have military mental health specialists on site to support the psychological needs of Veterans.
‘You are Not Alone’ Campaign – January 2018
In January 2018, Help for Heroes released new research which reveals that one in four (23%) partners or family members of an Armed Services Veteran or Service Person state that their own wellbeing and mental health has been directly affected as a result of their family member’s situation. Many are suffering in silence with 16% saying they would try to cope with any issues alone, with only 5% saying they would seek help from a mental health professional.
Stigma is the main reason many of those surveyed do not speak up: 39% said that they “don’t feel [they] have the right to seek help”, almost half (43%) say they “need to be the strong one”, and 16% admitting they would be “afraid of appearing weak”. One in three would turn to a family member, friend or other veteran wives and families before approaching their GP or a medical professional.
Almost one in three (30%) of affected family members suffer from Depression and anxiety.
MP Polling – December 2017
In December 2017, Help for Heroes commissioned research to better understand the views of MPs around Veterans and mental health. The results show 43% of MPs think the Government does not treat Veterans fairly.
The same poll indicates that MPs view PTSD and Depression as the most prevalent mental health disorders among Veterans (52% and 39% respectively).