Research in Focus: MeT4VeT: A Mental Health Toolkit for Veterans
The MeT4VeT project is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust and aims to develop a mental health toolkit for veterans. This project proceeds the stigma and barriers to care study (See report here) which identified three core barriers that prevented veterans from seeking help for their mental health.
The study found that veterans often struggled to identify what they were experiencing as a mental health problem. Additionally, many of the veterans interviewed discussed not recognising a need to seek help for their mental health problem until it had reached crisis point and they were experiencing suicidal thoughts. Finally, they were unable to navigate support services and identify which ones they were eligible for.
The research team has developed the MeT4VeT app which aims to will help veterans overcome these barriers. The app aims to do in this in 3 ways:
- Provide education to help veterans understand mental health difficulties.
- Enable veterans to identify their own experiences of mental health and recognise when they may need support.
- Support veterans by giving them access to self-help tools and by providing details of organisations who can help them.
This was a collaborative piece of work with involvement from veterans and key stakeholders in veterans’ care. We would like to thank the veterans and stakeholders for their time and valuable knowledge and insight.
We are now conducting an initial feasibility trial to assess the toolkit’s acceptability and usability. It will also assess the toolkit’s ability to reduce military veteran’s psychological distress, as well as how well it is able to counter the three key barriers to seeking mental health support.
The combination of user feedback, clinical knowledge and research will hopefully result in a new and exciting toolkit which if it can enable just one veteran to seek mental health support, will be a step in the right direction!