Over the last two years Forward Assist has actively campaigned for ‘gender specific’ mental health interventions for women veterans. Forward Assist’s Founder & CEO Tony Wright is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), chaired by Kelly Tolhurst MP.
In September 2016 The All Party Parliamentary Group On Social Work, Published A Report of the Inquiry into Mental Health Services in England. Two of the Recommendations were;
· Ensure that veteran mental health services continue to be supported and ensure plans include social work interventions that deliver preventive and restorative outcomes.
· Establish a government inquiry into the mental health of female veterans with a focus on developing a framework to support them.
Women Veterans Lead, Paula Edwards, has established a Strategy Group of interested parties to oversee, champion and advise on project development and anticipated outcomes.
She has also set up four ‘Women Veteran Only’ Consultation Groups across the North East of England: Groups have been established North of the Tyne, Wearside, County Durham & Teesside. Consultation Groups meet regularly over a 12-month period and academics from Derby University will capture the lived experience of women veterans after military service and report on their findings.
Forward Assist & Derby University will collate and share the learning in a series of seminars over the next two years. The women Veterans will be given the opportunity to become involved in the peer led/consultation groups and design a template for ‘gender specific’ support services for women veterans that can be up scaled and is fit for purpose and demand.
The women, in partnership with Academics from Derby University will organise a conference to launch the final report and share learning.