Forces in Mind Trust grant awarded to support carers in the armed forces

Forces in Mind Trust grant awarded to support carers in the armed forces

Healios, Wiltshire Mind and AFF secure Forces in Mind Trust grant to bring the innovative Healios service to carers in the armed forces who are caring for someone with mental illness


Wiltshire Mind, Healios, and the Army Families Federation (AFF) have secured a Forces in Mind Trust grant to fund a pilot project. The project will support carers of people within the Armed Forces Community dealing with severe mental illness including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Building on Healios’ existing offering for psychosis* carers, the grant will be used to set up an online support service predominantly for those caring for Service personnel with mental illnesses as they transition back to civilian life. The service will also be available to Serving and ex-Service personnel caring for a loved one. Providing bespoke psycho-education and skills training to carers of people suffering with severe mental illness, the service will take an innovative and proactive approach to empower carers as they look after their loved one.

Being online based, Healios’ service can provide easily accessible and professional support to families, who, due to the nature of roles in the Army, may have moved away from their personal support networks. The service, which will initially be available to 50 carers from the Armed Forces community in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties, is due to launch in November 2014. The AFF will help recruit carers for the service.

Richard Andrews, co-founder of Healios, commented, “We’re pleased that the value of our service has been recognised in this way by the Forces in Mind Trust and we look forward to working with Wiltshire Mind and the AFF to reach out to this important part of our community. We exist to provide the best support possible for carers as their loved one makes the, sometimes difficult, transition back to civilian life. We’re confident that our service will make a positive impact on the whole family and its success will serve to inform future models of care for the Armed forces.”

A spokesperson for the AFF said: We are pleased to be working alongside Wiltshire MIND and Healios on this project and delighted that the Forces in Mind Trust has recognised its potential value for the Armed Forces community. AFF work closely with Army families and are aware of carers within our community that would certainly benefit from utilising this service.

David Mckeigue, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Mind said “This is a unique online service which focuses on helping the carer deliver significantly better outcomes for themselves and indeed their loved one, and, because of the way the service is delivered, the number of carers that can access the service is significantly higher than conventional face to face methods. Wiltshire Mind is delighted to be partnering with both the AFF and Healios on this exciting pilot. The innovative approach and unique service delivery of Healios is of huge value and benefit to all carers wherever they may be located.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said: “Giving carers access to vital support and resources will help them in turn provide the type of support their loved ones need. The evaluation of this pilot programme will provide the evidence-base we need to improve support to carers across the Armed Forces Community and indeed across the general population too, and we are extremely proud to partner with Wiltshire Mind in this innovative project”.