Sarah Rabin

Thesis Title: The Health and Well-being of UK LGBT+ Serving and Ex-serving Military Populations

Abstract: Up until the year 2000, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) individuals were banned from serving openly in the United Kingdom (UK) military. Recent developments, such as government inquiries to address issues of historical hurt among the LGBT+ veteran community during the ban, focus on communities who have been unheard in legal avenues and are starting to be included in research to date. While such efforts are much needed, they may exclude the experiences of those who are currently serving, or have served, in the post-ban era. Within the United States (US) military, research indicates that LGBT+ ex-serving personnel are more likely to experience mental health concerns, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcohol misuse, and suicidal ideation and attempts, compared to their cisgender (i.e. someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth), heterosexual counterparts. Over the next three years, this PhD study aims to bridge this gap by providing an overview of the health and well-being among UK LGBT+ serving and ex-serving military members in the post-ban era, including exploring the prevalence of, and identifying the risk and protective factors associated with, health and well-being outcomes. The study will apply both qualitative and quantitative methods (in-depth interviews and statistical analyses), and participants will include UK military service personnel and ex-service personnel who have participated in the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) Health and Well-being Cohort Study, along with those recruited from other networks. Identifying the factors associated with health and well-being outcomes among LGBT+ service personnel and veterans and understanding the experiences of minorities within the UK military will help to provide robust evidence to government and wider stakeholders following calls for increased diversity. This project is being conducted in partnership with the Royal British Legion and we are grateful for their support.

First Supervisor: Rachael Gribble


· Rabin, S., Obradovic, T., Gribble, R., Sharp, M.L., Burdett, H. (2024). Mental Health Outcomes Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (Lgbt+) Serving And Ex-Serving Military Personnel: A Narrative Systematic Review In The Post-Ban Era. PROSPERO Registration.
· Rabin, S., Kika, N., Lamb, D., Murphy, D., Stevelink, SAM, Williamson, V., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N. (2023). Moral injuries in healthcare workers: What causes them and what to do about them? Journal of Healthcare Leadership. doi: 10.2147/JHL.S396659
· Rabin, S., Duncan, R., Gnanapragasam, S., Hotopf, M., Lamb, D., Madan, I., Rafferty, A., Raine, R., Razavi, R., Stevelink, S., Greenberg, N., Wessely, S. (2023). Becoming the largest UK mental health survey of NHS staff: A communications strategy to battle survey fatigue and a pandemic: a guide to recruitment, retention, and replenishment. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. Submitted for publication.
· Dobscha, S.K., Newell, S., Elliott, V., Rynerson, A., Rabin, S., Bahraini, N., Post, E. P., Denneson, L.M. (2022). Primary care and mental health staff perspectives on population-based suicide risk screening and care coordination. Psychiatric Services.
· Chen, J., Laliberte, A. Z., Rabin, S., Roth, B. T., Dobscha, S. K. (2021). Expanding reach: A component analysis review of promising suicide interventions. General Hospital Psychiatry. Submitted for publication.
· Dobscha, S. K., Dandois, M., Rynerson, A., Rabin, S., Bajrovic, E., & Corey, G. (2021). Development and evaluation of a novel collaborative care rotation for psychiatry residents. Academic Psychiatry, 1-4.
· Newell, S., Denneson, L., Rynerson, A., Rabin, S., Elliott, V., Bahraini, N., et al. (2021). Veterans Health Administration staff experiences with suicidal ideation and risk assessment in the context of COVID-19. PLoS One, 16(12), e026921.
· Cornejo, B.J., McCready, H., Rabin, S., Boyce, S., & Dennis L. (2020). Clinical off-label use of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation in psychiatric conditions. Curr Treat Options Psych.
· Cornejo, B.J., Rabin, S., & Sheth, M. (2019). Lessons from the clinic: safely and successfully using dTMS in an outpatient clinic setting. Clinical TMS Society Newsletter.

Sarah has always had an interest in military populations. She graduated Summa Cum Laude (First Class Honours equivalent) with an undergraduate degree in psychology in her native California, and then worked at the US Department of Veterans Affairs in myriad capacities, where she researched Alzheimer’s and dementia, self-harm and suicide, and genome mapping, before moving to London. She received distinction for her Master’s in War and Psychiatry at King’s College London, where her dissertation focused on the final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and its psychological impacts on UK Armed Forces personnel and veterans. Sarah worked as a Research Assistant within KCMHR prior to starting this PhD. Her research interests include marginalised populations within the military, suicidality, and military mental health more broadly. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys exploring the UK, reading, weightlifting, petting every single dog, cooking, and eating ridiculously spicy food.