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An Exploration of Military Ex-service and Veterans’ Experiences of Mental Health Services and the Support Needs of Their Families: An Evaluation of Engagement with Services in South Staffordshire - Executive Board Report for the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Misca, Gabriela (2015) An Exploration of Military Ex-service and Veterans’ Experiences of Mental Health Services and the Support Needs of Their Families: An Evaluation of Engagement with Services in South Staffordshire - Executive Board Report for the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Project Report. University of Worcester.

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Abstract

This report summarizes the pilot stage results of an evaluation study of veterans’ engagement with and experience of Veterans Support Service at the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust over a period of 6 months, during 2014-15. It was envisaged that the study will enable better understanding of veteran’s needs and experiences of mental health difficulties, as well as the emotional support needs of their families. The results of the pilot stage of the evaluation study supports the following conclusions: • The South Staffordshire Veterans' Support Service (VSS) has undergone a positive change: by comparison with the conclusions of the previous evaluation (Dent-Brown et al, 2010) the service was unanimously evaluated by service users as being a very useful resource. • Veterans’ appreciated that the service staff had military background and/or knowledge about military and felt that this facilitated their engagement with the service especially in the early stages of attending the service; Moreover, the service users found that the personal and professional qualities of the clinical staff were of vital importance and made a significant contribution to their better outcomes. • Majority of service users felt able to talk to their GPs about their difficulties and be referred to VSS by their GPs, and an important role was played by the GPs willingness to understand the special circumstances of veterans. • The service users felt that major barriers in their positive transition were the lack on employment, connection with community and support. The pilot evaluation study makes the following recommendations for future developments: - Whilst service users’ positive evaluation of the service is an important premise to its effectiveness, in order to ascertain the effectiveness of the service, an audit of service users’ outcomes, including measure pre- and post- treatment is of essence. - Whilst maintaining a model of service led by a professional with military background appear a preferred option, this should be coupled with training and education for professionals in the specific circumstances of the veterans as well as succession and cover plans in place to preserve the relationships of the service with service users. - Family involvement in the assessment and treatment of veterans’ difficulties in their transition is vital to increase sustained engagement with the service and interventions and to support the family of veteran. - To consolidate the above conclusions the pilot study should be expanded to include a higher number of participants – ideally an entire 1 year cohort of service users attending the service.

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: military & veterans transition, veteran mental health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Gabriela Misca
Depositing User: Gabriela Misca
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 08:06
Last Modified: 23 May 2016 06:43
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/4430

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