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York St John publishes report into the impact of the institution’s work to support veterans

Published: 13 July 2016

  •   Community

The Military Human is a series of training courses available to health and social care staff, run by the University, which aim to improve their awareness of armed forces culture and the challenges involved with the shift from military to civilian life.

The Military Human: Understanding Military Culture & Transition Impact Report by Nick Wood, Education & Development Lead (Military Culture & Interventions) at York St John, has been published this week and investigates the effect of the course on health professionals work with veterans.

The course was introduced at York St John University in 2012, in consultation with Health Education Yorkshire and Humber. The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences developed a one-day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme for health professionals who may have come into contact with members of the public who had served in the Armed Forces. A series of courses have now been developed under the umbrella title The Military Human.

Understanding Military Culture & Transition, the first course in the series, aimed to enable teams to incorporate the growing range of specialised support, focused interventions and dedicated resources available to veterans into their own services. So far more than 700 people have taken part.

The course is run by Nick Wood, a veteran himself who served in the Falklands with the Royal Navy. Alongside The Military Human programme, Nick also lectures York St John Occupational Therapy students on issues around veterans including transition and engagement issues.

The report shows that, following the training, 72% of delegates reported ‘high’ to ‘full’ knowledge of military to civilian transition (compared with 22% previously) and the same proportion said their understanding of military culture was now ‘high’ or ‘full’ (compared to 21% before the course).

The report concludes that the course has a positive effect on professional relationships between patients and practitioners and contributes to building trust and commitment on both sides.

Nick Wood said: “In the light of the outcome of the Chilcot inquiry, as a community we are morally bound to value the input and the dedication of military personnel and, as part of that, we need to understand the culture in which they live and work.

“At York St John one of our priorities is to increase the awareness and understanding of life in the military, which aligns with today’s increasing awareness around physical and mental health issues and the important role they play in helping people lead healthy lives.

“There has been a significant move towards supporting veterans and their families in their transition to non-military life and, in response to this, York St John University has developed a strategy to engage health and social care staff in supporting veterans and their families within the wider community.”

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