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Wellbeing

 

Having assigned to work at Hasler Company, a dedicated centre to professionally help with rehabilitation for serving personnel, as well as losing friends to suicide, Captain Ryan Morris set up Project Regain to promote early detection and help for Royal Marines who could suffer from mental health issues.

 

Royal Marines have the lowest rates of mental health problems within the UK Armed Services, but Regain aims to improve mental health awareness and reduce stigma. Evidence collected by the project suggested that commandos find it hard to ask for support when symptoms of illness like PTSD and depression first appear. Findings also show that lack of knowledge about mental health issues make it a hurdle to recognising a developing condition. This initiative will help Marines access treatments at the start of an issue, which can reduce the treatment timelines.

 

 

Overview of Regain
  • It gives individuals access to basic education about mental health symptoms and the ways in which to seek help.
  • It allows serving Royal Marines to refer themselves directly to specialists without the need to first go through their unit’s medical officer – all they need to do is pick up a phone and call the Department of Community Mental Health at Colchester (Tel: 01206 817 057/ Mil: 94660 7057) and from there they will be put straight through to a nurse who will arrange an appointment locally.
  • Most Royal Marines who seek help have eight to 12 sessions of talking therapy and then carry on their careers. All the treatment provided is confidential.

 

Further Information

Please visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/Regain for more information, or read a short summary of this initiative in Homeport magazine (Summer ’19, p.32).

 

 

Posted on: 13th May, 2019
Updated on: 18th June, 2019

 

An extended funding partnership between the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Kings Camps is about to enable more children and young people from Naval Service families to access sports and activity camps right across the UK and at a significantly subsidised rate of £60 per week.

 

In addition to operating Kings Camps for 1,800 children at 8 Royal Navy bases, Naval Service families can now access Kings Camps at 55 locations across the UK, from Aberdeen to Cornwall.

 

The announcement follows input from the NFF informing RNRMC of the need to support dispersed families.

 

Richard Holmes, CEO of Kings Camps, states:

‘We’re a not-for-profit with a vision of a world where children love being active, so we are absolutely delighted to be strengthening our partnership to enable thousands of children from Naval Service families to be active, have fun and learn together, and to be significantly helping Navy families. The fantastic contribution by the RNRMC enables us to provide a 5-day experience for just £60 per child; this represents a reduction of around 66% off our standard charge.’

 

Adrian Bell, CEO of RNRMC, is equally as pleased with the partnership:

‘The feedback we’ve had from Royal Navy and Royal Marine families that have accessed this service has been overwhelmingly positive, so to be able to extend this opportunity to Naval Service families wherever they live in the UK is an obvious next step.’

 

Anna Wright, CEO of the Naval Families Federation, said:

‘This is a tremendous development in support of dispersed families during school holidays. I think this is a really positive step in terms of tackling the very complex and multi-faceted issue of childcare.’

 

Around 1.5 million children have attended Kings Camps since 1991. During a typical week, children get to participate in around 30 activities, the environment is friendly, fun and inclusive and Kings have a high regard for safeguarding and child-welfare. Kings are the only organisation in the activity-camp sector that have independent parent-reviews, regularly receiving maximum scores for customer experience and product rating.

 

Kings’ national network of programmes are based at schools and universities with exceptional facilities and they feature at HMNB Clyde, RNAS Culdrose, Northwood Joint Forces, HMNB Devonport, HMS Collingwood, HMS Temeraire, RNAS Yeovilton and CTCRM Lympstone.

 

Read more about this latest partnership in Homeport magazine (Summer ’19 edition, p.34-35) here.

 

 

For information on Kings Camps Summer 2019 in the Portsmouth area, please visit this page. Full information can be found at www.kingscamps.org and bookings can be made by calling the experienced and knowledgeable Kings Camps booking team on 0114 263 2160 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Posted on: 10th May, 2019
Updated on: 17th June, 2019

NHS England and MOD had been working together since 2017 to design and test a programme to support the small number of Armed Forces personnel who have complex and enduring physical, neurological and mental health conditions that are attributable to injury whilst in Service. On 29th March 2019, the new Armed Forces personnel in transition, Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans Framework (IPC4V) was launched.

 

Individuals who are eligible for this new approach are proactively identified by medical staff whilst they are on the Defence Recovery Pathway. This will occur while they are in an Armed Forces Personnel Recovery Unit.

 

This approach will ensure that eligible individuals transitioning out of the Armed Forces into civilian life will continue to receive comprehensive support. IPC4V will help deliver personalised care in line with the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant. This is part of the expansion of support under the NHS Long Term Plan.

 

IPC4V seeks to ensure that a range of organisations (i.e. health and social care, MOD, Service Charities) will work collaboratively with the individual and their family and/or carer to ensure the provision of personalised care, support and treatment that meets their needs, in ways that work for them.

 

The benefit of IPC4V will also include ongoing support to help ensure that each individual is an active participant in the planning and management of their own health and wellbeing, with outcomes and solutions having meaning and context within their life. A dedicated Veterans Welfare Manager will also be assigned to provide a range of support, including ‘guided conversations’ to help with identifying goals and actions in their life and family situation. It gives individuals more choice and control over how their care is planned and delivered.

 

As well as the establishment of this new framework, the MOD will also provide extra funding to a very small number of individuals injured in service, and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme recipients who require 24 hour, one to one care from a trained individual.

 

The funding, which has currently been set as £24,000 per year, for life, can be spent on health and wellbeing activities which are above those already provided by statutory services to enable a better quality of life for this small number of individuals.

Further information and reading
IPC4V poster
Guide to IPC4V, produced by NHS England
IPC4V poster
Information for healthcare providers
IPC4V informational poster
Information for patients
Injured personnel informational poster.
Short Summary of IPC4V (Homeport Summer '19, p.48)

Please visit NHS England’s site here, or contact england.armedforceshealth@nhs.net for more information.

 

Posted on: 10th April, 2019
Updated on: 18th June, 2019

Did you know that Welcome Guides have been produced to help Service families as they move across the UK or return from overseas?

 

These booklets were designed to provide information you may need to help you and your family settle in to a new location. They cover aspects such as housing, education, healthcare, employment, benefits and social care and other useful information, as well as a list of supporting organisations.

 

If you are considering moving, or are due to move for an upcoming assignment order, please do read the guides, which can help to ease your mind.

Welcome to England poster.
Welcome to Wales poster.
Welcome to Scotland poster.
Northern Ireland
Currently in production. Please watch this space.

These guides can also be accessed via the Armed Forces Covenant here.

Posted on: 2nd April, 2019
Updated on: 29th June, 2020

In December 2017, the Department of Health and the Department for Education released a Green Paper to consult on mental health provision for children and young people. It set out 3 key proposals for schools and the NHS to improve services.

 

The NFF released a formal response, following the publication of this Green paper. Our response highlighted the impacts of Naval Service have on children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and called for action in the Government’s future plans. To read a short summary of the Government’s proposals and our response, please click here.

 

Implementation

The consultation period lasted for 13 weeks from December 2017 to March 2018, and has received over 2,700 responses. The Government’s response to the consultation was published in late July 2018. The implementation began in early 2019 – 25 trailblazer areas across England to provide expert mental health support to almost half a million children and young people every year. 59 new Mental Health Support Teams are now undergoing training at seven universities nationwide, with plans to be operational by December 2019.

 

Each designated team will support up to 8,000 children and they are responsible for a cluster of around 20 schools and colleges each, to build on support already in place from different sectors (e.g. school counsellors, nurses). The teams are designated to help with treating mild and moderate mental health issues in school; a link to specialist NHS services will also be provided to those with more severe needs, to access the right support. Funding from the Department for Education is also in place to train senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, to work closely with the NHS teams.

 

The Current Trailblazer Areas

North

  • Doncaster CCG & Rotherham CCG
  • Liverpool CCG
  • Newcastle Gateshead CCG
  • Northumberland CCG
  • North Kirklees CCG & Greater Huddersfield CCG
  • South Tyneside CCG
  • Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

 

Midlands & East

  • Herts Valley CCG & East and North Herts CCG
  • North Staffordshire CCG
  • Rushcliffe CCG and Nottingham North and East CCG
  • South Warwickshire CCG
  • Stoke on Trent CCG

 

South East

  • Buckinghamshire CCG
  • Berkshire West CCG
  • North Kent CCG grouping: Swale and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCGs
  • Oxfordshire CCG

 

South West

  • Gloucestershire CCG
  • Swindon CCG

 

London

  • Bromley CCG
  • Camden CCG
  • Haringey CCG
  • Hounslow CCG
  • South West London HCP: Wandsworth and Sutton and Merton CCGs
  • Tower Hamlets CCG
  • West London CCG

 

 

Further Expansion

The trailblazer sites are made up of the NHS and key local stakeholders, including schools and colleges, local authorities and third sector organisations and will be rolled out to between one-fifth and one quarter of the country by 2023/24. Plans for further expansion of this service has also been set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan.

 

The NFF welcomes the introduction of the new services. Please do contact us if you would like to share your comments.

 

Posted on: 5th February, 2018
Last Updated on: 25th January, 2019

The Annington Challenge, run in conjunction with The Outward Bound Trust, gives young people from military families the chance to tackle their very own outward bound adventure and is now open to applications for Summer 2019.

 

Challengers will camp out for two nights or more in some of the most beautiful and breath-taking parts of the UK and get the chance to tackle anything from abseiling, canoeing and gorge-walking to sailing, kayaking and climbing. They tackle these activities in small groups and are helped, instructed and inspired by one of the Outward Bound’s highly qualified and hugely motivating instructors.

 

The Annington Challenge, like all of the Outward Bound courses, aims to change how young people think and feel about themselves and their lives, by building their personal, social and emotional skills and giving them the ability to thrive at school, in further education, employment and in life. Participants learn a deep appreciation of the balance between risk, reward and responsibility and leave with transferrable, essential life skills.

 

Read more about the Annington Challenge here (Homeport Winter ’18 pages 54-55).

 

For 2019, 65 young people aged between 11-19 will be chosen for a place on the Annington Challenge. Their dedicated instructor will play a huge role throughout this; coaching and sharing their skills, knowledge and expertise so that participants leave equipped to stand out from the crowd and realise their ambitions and achieve their life goals.

 

The Annington Challenge is open to all children of Service families, regardless of background. Applications will need the support of their school or college and if chosen, Challengers must be prepared to write a short report on their Annington Challenge. If you are interested in enrolling your young person in this programme, please apply through this link.

 

Posted on: 9th January 2018
Updated on: 15th January, 2019

The following is a brief overview of the Armed Forces Covenant. For more details about the changes that have already been implemented as a result of the Covenant, and how this can have an impact on you and your family, please visit the Armed Forces Covenant website for further information.

 

You can also watch a short video about the Covenant here, which has been put together by the RN Two-Six team.

 

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to you.

It is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

It’s about making sure that you are not disadvantaged as a result of your service or your connection to the Armed Forces – giving you a ‘level playing field’.

 

The Covenant in the Community

The Covenant in the Community is a voluntary pledge of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces community. Local authorities and the Armed Forces in your area are working together in order to:

 

  • Encourage local communities to support the Armed Forces community in their areas, and to increase understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces;
  • Recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by the Armed Forces community;
  • Encourage activities that help to integrate the Armed Forces community into local life;
  • Encourage the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or other forms of engagement.

 

Covenants in the Community may look quite different from one location to another; the nature of the support offered will be determined by need and capacity. The delivery of the Covenant is usually managed locally by an Armed Forces Covenant lead officer working within the local authority, in conjunction with a partnership board. Visit your local authority website for more details and contact information.

 

The Covenant in Business

This involves businesses and charitable organisations making a written and publicised voluntary pledge which expresses their support to the Armed Forces community, and demonstrates how they have committed to ways in which they can provide support.

 

These Covenants include a core statement of commitment, which covers the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant:

 

  • No member of the Armed Forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen;
  • In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

 

Each organisation is also encouraged to offer support in a way most appropriate to their situation. The pledge document includes a menu of options for organisations to sign up to, including; employment support for Veterans, Reservists, Service spouses and partners, support for Cadet Units, participation in Armed Forces Day, and offering discounts to the community. There is also an opportunity for organisations to add their own commitments based on local circumstances.

 

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)  acknowledges employers who have provided exceptional support to the Armed Forces community and defence by going above and beyond their Covenant pledges.

Through a 3 tier approach of bronze, silver and gold awards, the scheme recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers. This allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour those organisations for their support.

 

You can nominate yourself for a bronze awardSilver and gold awards are bestowed to organisations meeting specific criteria.

 

The Covenant in Government

The Armed Forces Covenant is a cross-Government commitment which involves many central government departments, such as the Departments for Work and Pensions, Health and Social Care and Education, as well as the NHS.

Many topics covered are devolved matters i.e. education, and therefore the Devolved Governments of Wales and Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Executive, are responsible for their delivery.

 

Wales
The Welsh Government contributes to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report. It has appointed an Armed Forces Advocate to represent Wales on the Covenant Reference Group, and has established an Expert Group to consider the needs of the Armed Forces community in Wales. The NFF is part of this Expert Group. Click here for further information.

 

Scotland
In 2012, the Scottish Government published ‘Our Commitments: Scottish Government Support for the Armed Forces Community in Scotland’. This document illustrated how the Scottish Government was addressing the needs of its Armed Forces community. They then revisited their Commitments in 2016, with the publication of their Renewing our Commitments document. Furthermore, in response to the reports issued by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner, the Scottish Government then issued guidance which outlines the support that is being offered to the Armed Forces Community – click here to read this document.

The Scottish Government contributes to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report, and has appointed an Armed Forces and Veterans Advocate to represent Scotland on the Covenant Reference Group.

 

Northern Ireland
In July 2013, the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee produced a report that stated that the UK Government must identify any shortfalls in the provision of services to the Armed Forces Community in Northern Ireland, and report on how these will be met. The Committee called for closer engagement between the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive on support for the Armed Forces Community. Click here for details.

 

Full details about all aspects of the Armed Forces Covenant can be found on the MOD website here.

 

Armed Forces Covenant Fund

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust run a programme which makes grants of up to £20,000 for local projects that support the Armed Forces Community.

Further information on the priorities, eligibility and application process can be found on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website. If you have any questions which are not covered by the guidance, you can contact the team at enquiries@covenantfund.org.uk

 

Posted on: 20th November, 2018
Updated: 18th March, 2019

Support for Care Leavers

Young people who have been in care at any point in their childhood are more likely to face additional challenges in securing suitable employment and establishing an independent life for themselves than their peers. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed the Care Leaver Covenant, which commits it to a number of actions, including developing protocols for young people joining the Armed Forces. As part of its commitment, the MOD has launched a survey to help it to understand how best to improve the support it offers. You can access the survey here and via defnet, or arrange to speak to someone in person by emailing DCYP-CareLeavers@mod.gov.uk .

 

You can find out more about support for Care Leavers from the Care Leavers’ Association.

 

Support for Estranged Adults

Not all adults have a close or supportive family support network. Family estrangement can involve stigma and social isolation. This may be especially keenly felt when combined with some of the challenges faced by Armed Forces people and their loved ones. You can find out more about family estrangement, and get support, from Stand Alone.

 

Posted on: 14th November, 2018
Updated on: 30th November, 2018

HALO survey

The Helping Armed Forces Loved Ones Survey (the ‘HALO’ survey) aims to better understand the needs and experiences of people who are worried about the mental health of a loved one who services or has served in the Armed Forces.

 

The second wave of the study is now underway. This part of the study focuses on mood swings.

 

If this sounds like something that may be relevant to you, please take 10 minutes or so to complete the confidential online survey. Upon completion, you can opt in to enter into a prize draw to win one of 5 Amazon gift vouchers (worth up to £50). The survey is here.

 

 

Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds

The HALO survey is part of a bigger HALO study that gives you the option to seek support directly from Help for Heroes ‘Hidden Wounds’ programmes. ‘Hidden Wounds’ can help if you are worried about the mental health of a family member, partner or loved one serving in the Armed Forces. It can help you, too, if you are worried about the effect of their mental health on your own wellbeing. To find out more visit the website and use the contact form or email.

 

HALO social media

Facebook

Twitter

 

Posted on: 5th November, 2018
Updated on: 30th January, 2019

Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey about mental health for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. Your feedback is extremely valuable and helps us to represent accurately your views and experiences. The results of the survey are here.

 

This survey was carried out to assist the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) with its current inquiry into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces. The Committee makes recommendations for change. On 25 July 2018 it published Part 1 of its report into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces, which considers the scale of mental health issues. The Naval Families Federation provided evidence for this report. The Committee accepted our view that mental health should be considered in a holistic way, rather than focusing solely on the serving person. We want to find out more about the impact of military service and lifestyles on the mental health of family members, to make sure you are properly supported. Part 1 of the Committee’s report acknowledges that families’ mental health can be affected by the stresses of Service life and by traumatic events experienced by their military partners. It makes a number of recommendations, including that the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the health departments of the four nations, places a greater focus on Service and veterans’ families as part of its mental health care provision. This should include supporting further research into the mental health of current and former Service families to determine what provision is needed. The Ministry of Defence should also monitor how this provision is applied across the UK as part of its annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

You can read Part 1 of the HCDC report here and our evidence here. We will keep you up to date with any further developments as they happen.

 

Posted on: 5th September, 2018