Researchers at Loughborough University are looking for military personnel, veterans and members of the emergency services to take part in group discussions on mental health.
The team – from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and NCSEM-EM – are hoping to develop interventions that can help improve wellbeing and reduce symptoms of psychological trauma in frontline jobs.
They want to hear the views of serving regular and reservist military personnel, veterans, organisations that support them and staff from all the emergency services on the challenges they face and what could help mitigate these.
Dr Gemma Witcomb, who is leading the study, said: “In military and ‘blue light’ roles people often find themselves in very stressful and traumatic situations. For some this can lead to depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse.
“Our research will focus on how we can help support people in these roles, providing them with the tools they need to boost their resilience. Not only will this enable them to maintain their fitness to work, but also increase their quality of life post-service.
“We want people from all areas of the military and emergency services to come and share their experiences and opinions with us and help us improve the support that is available to them.”
Terry Simpson, Head of Mental Health Services for the East Midlands Ambulance Service added: “As a supportive and compassionate employer we are aware of the traumatic incidents our dedicated staff regularly attend. Such workshops will be highly valuable and we are excited about the prospect of collaborative working, research and development in partnership with Loughborough University.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the roundtable discussions – due to take place at the start of July – is asked to contact Dr Witcomb on G.L.Witcomb@lboro.ac.uk or call 01509 223084.