Initially a 3- year project to generate a comprehensive understanding of Northern Ireland that would be used by policy makers and service deliverers across the sector. The mental health element was split out and awarded under the MHRP 3 months later, entitled, 'Mental Health Needs of the Hidden Veteran Community in Northern Ireland’. These two projects became joined in terms of work packages in February 2017 under what is now known as the Northern Ireland Veteran Health and Wellbeing Study (NIVHWS).


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.