Public sees supporting mental health as priority for Armed Forces charities, report suggests


The public sees providing mental health support as a key priority for Armed Forces charities, according to new research from nfpResearch.

The research on the current state of public sentiment towards Armed Forces charities was captured in February through public surveying, and reveals that the most common concerns the public believe veterans to face are mental health issues such as PTSD, and difficulty reintegrating into civilian life. The research also suggests that the public has a pessimistic outlook for these issues, with less than a third of respondents believing there will be improvements around these issues over the next 20 years.

Asked about where they would like to see funding allocated, mental health issues were a priority, above spending on wider medical treatment. The public average was for 22% of spending to go towards mental health / PTSD support, while 15% of spending was encouraged to go to direct financial support, up from 9% in 2015.

The research revealed too that roughly half of the public (53%) said they did not understand how charities provide support – although just half of these said they’d like to know more.

Charity relevance

The survey also found that almost half of people think charities supporting the Armed Forces aren’t as relevant today as they used to be.

However, there is still an emotional attachment to the Armed Forces, with 73% of respondents saying they feel proud to wear a poppy and show their support for the cause. 78% of the public say that the British Armed Forces are an essential part of the fabric of society, and nfpResearch also noted a lot of support for an increase in the amount of funding that veterans are provided by the central government.

Commenting, Tim Harrison-Byrne, Co-Managing Director at nfpResearch, said:

“The UK has a long history of trust and respect for our Armed Forces. Remembrance offers charities a chance to garner support for veterans and their families, but unlocking further support year-round will rely on better public awareness. This can be a major hurdle for any charity. Thankfully, the public are passionate to help, but just need to be met with more information on the impact these charities have.”

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