The USC School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR) has announced a partnership with the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London to bring together scholars in the United States, United Kingdom and around the world to share an open exchange of information and ideas on military-related behavioral health and disseminate knowledge that aims to develop a greater understanding of the issues facing veterans and their families and that lead to effective treatments and solutions.

“These kinds of partnerships are essential to our long-term success in rebuilding the lives of our servicemembers, especially in terms of generating a rich knowledge base that can address transitions to civilian life and combat-related stress,” said CIR’s Anthony Hassan. “Working collaboratively with our international colleagues only enhances our collective resources and opportunities for innovative teaching, learning and research.”

The joint venture dovetails with CIR’s mission to inform and develop best practices in behavioral health that help veterans and their families overcome the effects of combat service and other challenges to successful reintegration into their communities. Likewise, the King’s Centre, which is the leading military health research center in the United Kingdom—and is itself a partnership between civilian academic specialists and the Armed Forces—strives to ensure mental health care is a priority for all servicemembers. Both centers also emphasize the education and training of students in advanced behavioral and mental health care and evidence-based clinical practice.

“We welcome this opportunity to develop new links with USC and to promote our joint mission, which is to use academic scholarship and teaching to improve our understanding of the health and well-being of service personnel past, present and future,” said Professor Simon Wessely, co-director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research.

Long-range plans include conducting shared courses for graduate students, hosting post-doctoral candidates and holding joint seminars for faculty and experts.

The centers have already initiated their first collaborative work with the launch of Military Behavioral Health: An International Journal of Research and Community Study, the first academic journal dedicated to the biopsychosocial health and well-being of servicemembers, veterans and families impacted by military service.

Nicola Fear of King’s Centre is one of the first contributors with her article, “Impact of Deployment to Iraq on Marital Relationships of U.K. Military Personnel,” and she recently presented her findings from this study at a colloquium on military behavioral health hosted by CIR at USC.

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