The positive impact of legal advice and services on the mental wellbeing of UK veterans

Toni Beardmore*, William Collier, Olaoluwa Olusanya, Gwyn Griffith, Victoria Jane Knapp, Alex Baldwin

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Law has been recognised as a significant social determinant of health, however, micro-level legal advice interventions are underexplored. The dearth of research concerning the experience of British veterans highlights the need for uniquely tailored support services. This need is emphasised by the pervasiveness of mental health issues amongst this population. We investigate the feasibility of remotely delivered legal advice as a social intervention for supporting the mental wellbeing of UK veterans. This is based on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale results from 67 participants, who completed a pre and post legal intervention survey. Average WEMWBS results were higher post-intervention, particularly in participants with pre-identified mental health issues. The difference in overall scores pre and post intervention is statistically significant (p = 0.034). A correlation matrix identifies two variables, with one contributing to 59% variance (LV2). These are identified as “Affective” (LV2), and “Cognitive” (LV1). The difference between LV2 results pre and post intervention was significant (p = 0.016). Findings highlight the importance of individualised interventions for veterans. Free, remotely delivered, tailored legal advice and support shows feasibility as a social intervention due to its ability to encourage emotional disclosure, something which the veteran population can struggle with.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of the Legal Profession
Early online date16 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2024

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