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Military and emergency service personnel needed for mental health study

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 – 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.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 16/88

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in theGuardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

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