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New research to explore the risk of suicide in veterans in Northern Ireland

A professor from Queen’s University Belfast is leading a new research project exploring the risk of suicide in veterans in Northern Ireland.

The project, led by Professor Cherie Armour from the School of Psychology at Queen’s, has received £130,000 from Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

It will look into the high-risk population of veterans residing in Northern Ireland, to explore the psychosocial determinants of suicidality. The research team will analyse data from the Northern Ireland Veteran Health and Wellbeing Study (NIVHWS) and conduct family interviews, to explore family support needs after bereavement.  

Professor Cherie Armour, Queen’s University Belfast, said: “One life lost to suicide is one too many. This important research programme will look at existing data to tease out potential predictors of suicidality in veterans living in Northern Ireland.

"Through the programme we hope to add to preventative efforts already underway in the region. In addition, we will work alongside families from the Armed Forces community in NI, who have been bereaved by suicide, discussing with them their support needs and the efficacy of that support. This will allow us to make recommendations around how to optimise support services for families during a time of immense distress and need.”

Tom McBarnet, Chief Executive (Acting) of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are pleased to be funding this important research, which aims to address an under-researched area of veteran health and wellbeing needs. Professor Cherie Armour and her team are utilising the data from the Northern Ireland Veteran Health and Wellbeing Study, also funded by FiMT, and importantly speaking to bereaved families. We hope this research can shed some light on this complex topic, and a particularly vulnerable group of veterans.”

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Photo: Professor Cherie Armour

Professor Cherie Armour

Professor of Psychological Trauma and Mental Health in the School of Psychology
School of Psychology

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