Queen’s University Belfast: Study Aims to Understand the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Families of Veterans

This landmark research will provide an opportunity for the group to share their experiences and to help impact change for current and future UK Armed Forces veteran families.

The study, which is being funded by Forces in Mind Trust alongside the National Lottery Community Fund, is looking for spouses or intimate partners of veterans, adult children of veterans, and veterans themselves to fill out an online survey examining their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours on a variety of topics.

It will also explore relationships between family members, investigate the contribution of the local community to family mental health and wellbeing and identify what services are used by veteran families, as well as what barriers to care might exist.

The project is being conducted by Queen’s University in collaboration with King’s College London, Cardiff University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Anglia Ruskin University, and Combat Stress. It will bring new insight and support by exploring the drivers of mental health and overall wellbeing in veteran families.

Professor Chérie Armour, Director of Research and Professor of Psychological Trauma and Mental Health in the School of Psychology at Queen’s, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for families of UK Armed Forces Veterans to have their voice heard. We very recently conducted a review of the existing research that focused directly on the voice of family members and were shocked by the fact that very few studies existed within the UK.

“Our research will be pivotal in facilitating the design and implementation of family specific supports for those who need them for many years to come. It is therefore important that we can hear from as wide a group of veteran family members living in the UK as possible.”

She adds: “We will look at what is needed in the UK as a whole, but also at the specifics that might need addressed across each of the individual four nations including Northern Ireland.

“By identifying the key future needs of veteran families going forward the research has the potential to inform policy, programme and initiative creation, and future research for years to come, with veteran families across the UK benefiting from these changes.”

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