New neurodiversity project aims to develop support pathways for veterans

Posted by Press Team

19 March 2024

WWTW Services | Grants | Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

2 min read

We are thrilled to receive support from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for our newest project, 'Support Pathways for Veterans with Neurodivergent Conditions'.

This project will develop comprehensive information and support pathways for ex services personnel who are diagnosed with or suspected to have neurodivergent conditions, who are struggling to access therapeutic support. Working with key partners across the health , statutory and community sectors, the project will explore barriers whether they be neuroinclusive workplaces, treatment pathways, relational challenges and empower veterans to access support.

Walking With The Wounded will pilot a new approach over the next couple of years to empower veterans who are diagnosed or suspected to have neurodivergent conditions to overcome barriers to accessing specialist support. Funding will be used to engage some Subject Matter Experts (SME) in neurodiversity to explore and address barriers to support in the context of mental health and employment. Alongside this, WWTW will develop a psychotherapeutic pathway to support people veterans with neurodivergent conditions to thrive.

From our initial review of current research, there is a huge gap in the literature on both the current and ex serving armed forces personnel regarding neurodivergent conditions when compared with the general population. Neurodivergent conditions is an umbrella term which includes ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Auditory Processing Disorder amongst others and associated conditions. There is no formal framework for neurodivergence support both in the Armed Forces and within Op COURAGE, the NHS mental health specialist service.

In the first instance, our project will focus on conducting a systematic review and associated gaps around neurodiversity in the Armed Forces, and relevant network of organisations who offer specialist support. This will include interviewing suspected or diagnosed neurodivergent veterans, reviewing available services, identifying barriers to psychotherapeutic support, making recommendations to WWTW, and creating psychoeducation workshops for both clinicians, beneficiaries, and their families. This project is in the very early stages of maturation due to the limited research and resources available.

We will also develop collateral and training for WWTW staff to understand more about neurodivergent conditions and their impact on those living with them, exploring impact relational and occupationally.

The information, data and evidence collected throughout this consultation would be used to inform the future direction and development of WWTW’s psychological therapies programme, Head Start. Additionally, findings would be shared with those working in the armed forces sector to help drive research and develop supportive services where they are needed most.

Thank you to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for their ongoing support.

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