9th April 2013
The Warrior Programme, a non-clinical training and education programme for veterans who are experiencing serious problems adjusting to civilian living, has embarked on a partnership with Southampton University to undertake a Randomised Control Trial (RCT), funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, to evaluate the programme's impact on the transition of Service personnel into civilian life.
Dr Nick Maguire from the department of Psychology at Southampton University will be leading the RCT, which involves 50 participants. The aim of the trial is: to research and validate the techniques used to change individual attitudes and behaviour; to prove the role of the Warrior Programme over the long term: and to provide evidence-based research from which other services can benefit.
The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) was established in 2012 with a £35m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund in order to improve the success of Service men and women returning to civilian life, a process known as transition.
John Cummings, Director of The Warrior Programme, commented: "We are delighted that FiMT is supporting our current research project by awarding Warrior a grant to conduct a Randomised Control Trial. This Research is well overdue and without the support and financial backing by FiMT we could not afford to conduct it. Importantly, it will establish best practice through the examination of the effectiveness of new interventions by an academic institution."
Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust says: "Supporting research into projects such as The Warrior Programme is exactly why we were established. The funding of this Randomised Control Trial in particular will enable us to gain new and evidence-based insights into what contributes to a successful transition."
The Warrior Programme teaches veterans tools and strategies to manage their emotions, reduce anxiety and fear and to improve their confidence in order to acquire focus and clarity for the future. The training begins to instil confidence and resilience, enabling participants to engage more effectively with other agencies which can meet their transition needs relating to housing, welfare and employment, ultimately leading to independence.
When asked about her experience in the Warrior Programme, Helen Rawlinson said, "Following on from Warrior I have had the strength to change factors which hindered me and I continue to hold down a successful career. I can't recommend this programme enough. It not only put me back on the track I was hoping to be on, but equipped me with the tools to enable me to deal with almost anything."
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About The Warrior Programme
The Warrior Programme was established in 2007 by Charlotte Cole and Eva Hamilton MBE and is largely run by volunteers. To date, over 550 people have benefited from the programme including around 400 veterans. The Warrior Programme is designed to help veterans who are experiencing such problems adjusting to civilian life which can include: anxiety and depression, isolation, loss of independent living skills, shattered confidence and resilience, domestic crisis and homelessness, anti-social and criminal behaviour, unemployment, poor health and even self harm and suicide.
About The Forces in Mind Trust
The concept of the Forces in Mind Trust arose from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (BIG), COBSEO (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.
In addition to COBSEO Members, key supporting charities are: The Mental Health Foundation, Centre for Mental Health and Shaw Trust.
Other projects FiMT is currently funding:
The Future Horizons Programme was set up in 2012 to offer resettlement support, information and guidance to soldiers leaving the Army who are classed as Early Service Leavers (ESLs). The programme, which is focussed in and around the Catterick Garrison area, the largest British Army garrison in the world, aims to ensure that ESLs make a successful transition back into civilian life and find full time employment.
SSAFA FH Mentoring
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help provides practical help and assistance to anyone who is serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force. Their network of volunteers and staff give experienced, non-judgmental advice. They also provide practical services that cover a range of social, family and financial issues.
FiMT's Research Projects:
In order to help improve the understanding of transition and the welfare support available to members of the Armed forces, veterans and their families, FiMT is currently funding two major research projects:
mapping the whole transition process and identifying any gaps in understanding the mental health of veterans.
Mental Health Review:
a report to review the research evidence to date surrounding the mental health of serving and ex-Service military personnel in the UK.
The findings of these projects will be published by mid-June 2013.
The information gathered from the research projects will shape the potential for further study, by building up knowledge, evidence and information. The research will make a direct contribution towards improving support provided to members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG)
The Forces in Mind Trust continues BIG's long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans.