The Veterans & Families Research Hub, created by Forces in Mind Trust, Lord Ashcroft and Anglia Ruskin University, aims to become the central repository for all research into veterans, mental health or otherwise, in the UK. The Hub will house a variety of materials, ranging from academic transcripts and reports to simple infographics and ‘at-a-glance’ factsheets. The Hub aims to facilitate knowledge exchange at a level and in a medium which is accessible, and hopes to bridge the gap of understanding and collaboration across communities.
Mental health is an area where conjecture and myths often triumph over the facts of reality. This is perhaps no truer than in the field of veterans’ mental health. The frequently-held conception of veterans as ‘mad, bad and sad’ remains prominent, even after 15 years of research finding that the rates of veterans with common mental health disorders are the same as the general population (or lower according to some studies). Research has identified that veterans are less likely to be incarcerated than their civilian counterparts, and that rates of suicide in veterans are lower than in the general public (quietly debunking the myth that more veterans have taken their own lives since the Falkland’s conflict than lost their lives in it).
Whilst the findings of over a decade of research have been profound, they have failed, on the whole, to transform public understanding. The need for a tool to support researchers, service deliverers, veterans and the general public has never been so clear.
Centre for Mental Health is therefore delighted to be supporting the Hub in their mission. We will be moderating the mental health section of the site and hope to aid the Hub in the years to come. By producing appropriate content for the widest possible range of readers, the Hub will greatly aid efforts to promote findings based on effective methods and hopefully, among other things, shift public opinion from the fiction to the fact.
Visit, contribute and join the conversation at: https://www.vfrhub.com