Initially awarded as a project in its own right under the MHRP, working alongside its (non-MHRP) sister project, 'Understanding, supporting and serving the NI veterans’ community', these two projects became joined in February 2017 under what is now known as the Northern Ireland Veteran Health and Wellbeing Study (NIVHWS). The mental health (Hidden Veteran) element is now intertwined within the main project, but will have its own specific section within the final NIVHWS report, looking specifically at the Hidden Veteran Community within the sensitive context of Northern Ireland.


This ongoing project, which started in 2015, has seen four reports published to date on the needs of veterans in Northern Ireland and the support available to them.  The research has increased knowledge and awareness of veterans living in Northern Ireland, the support available to them and the challenges they encounter.

The project has been influential in effecting change in the support available in Northern Ireland and to date has led to the creation of the Northern Ireland Veterans Support Office (VSO). The VSO promotes the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant in Northern Ireland and provides support to veterans in Northern Ireland.  The project team also helped to develop the capacity of the VSO by assigning a research post within the VSO to act as a liaison point between the research team, the VSO, Veterans Gateway, and other key stakeholders as well creating the VSO website and resources. The VSO is now an integral centralised body coordinating veteran support in Northern Ireland.