Meet the research team…

NI Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study research team launching one of their reports, June 2017

NI Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study research team launching one of their reports, June 2017


Prof Cherie Armour    Principal Investigator

Prof Cherie Armour

Principal Investigator

Professor Cherie Armour is a lecturer in Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Prior to joining Queen’s University, Cherie was a lecturer at Ulster University and before that she worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Psychotraumatology at the National Centre of Psychotraumatology, located at the University of Southern Denmark.

Professor Armour's primary research interests relate to psychological trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with a particular interest in special occupational groups such as the Military and the Police Service. A large body of Cherie's research thus far has focused on PTSD's latent structure. Alternative research interests include, but are not limited to, the longitudinal course of PTSD in veterans and risk and resilience factors across varying PTSD trajectories, the specificity of PTSD symptoms, the co-occurrence of PTSD with symptoms from alternative psychiatric morbidities such as major depressive disorder, psychosis, and dissociation, the epidemiology of childhood maltreatment and mental health disorders, latent variable modelling, and intimate partner violence.

 
Prof Siobhan O'Neill    Co-Investigator

Prof Siobhan O'Neill

Co-Investigator

Professor Siobhan O’Neill is a Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University. Her current research programmes focus on trauma and suicidal behaviour in Northern Ireland (NI) and novel interventions for mental health and suicidal behaviour. Siobhan is also a Psychologist with expertise in qualitative and quantitative (epidemiology and survey) research methods.

Prior to joining Ulster University in 2000, Siobhan completed a degree in Psychology at the Queen's University of Belfast and a Masters in Health Psychology at NUI Galway. She also worked as a Public Health Researcher, conducting evaluations of health services and users’ experience of care.

Between 2005 and 2008 Siobhan, along with Professor Brendan Bunting and Dr Sam Murphy, coordinated the largest ever study of mental health in Northern Ireland, the NI Research and Development Office funded, NI Study of Health and Stress. This study revealed the high proportions of the NI population who had unmet mental health needs and the extent of mental health disorders associated with the NI conflict. Siobhan is also a coordinator of the NI suicide study, a study of the characteristics of completed suicides and undetermined deaths. She is responsible for the dissemination of the research findings on trauma and suicide to policy makers and stakeholders in NI.

Siobhan is a member of the World Mental Health Survey Consortium, a Director of the Irish Association of Suicidology and an advisor to several organisations who provide services and interventions for mental health and suicide prevention. She sits on several national and international research committees. She has over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including several ground breaking studies of mental health and suicidal behaviour in Northern Ireland. She is part of the World Mental Health Gender and Mental-Physical Comorbidity workgroups and led the world mental health paper linking mental illness with the subsequent development of cancer.

 
Dr Jana Ross    Research Fellow

Dr Jana Ross

Research Fellow

Jana Ross joined the Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study research group in September 2016. She completed her BSc in Psychology at The University of Liverpool and her MSc in Foundations of Clinical Psychology at Bangor University. She then went on to work as a therapeutic care worker in a private social care company and a mental health hospital, supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues. Jana completed her PhD in Psychology at Ulster University, graduating in 2018. She has published in a number of academic journals and is interested in military psychology, trauma and mental health, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder.

 
Dr Rhonda Burns    Research Fellow

Dr Rhonda Burns

Research Fellow

Carol Rhonda Burns joined Queen’s University Belfast as a Research Fellow on the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study team in July 2019. She completed her BSc (Hons) in Social Psychology, Master of Research and PhD at Ulster University. Her research interests include the mental health and wellbeing of men who have experienced multiple interpersonal victimisations across the life-course. Rhonda also has specific interest in the trauma experiences surrounding sexual consent and the impact of life-course trauma and mental health in forensic psychology settings. Rhonda is the team lead of the Network and Communications Team of the RESPECT Network, a multi-disciplinary research group from across many organisations (academic and otherwise) from both the North and South of Ireland with a common shared interest in the promotion of safe relationships for all. Rhonda has published in academic journals and is an Associate Fellow of the HEA.

 
Mr Martin Robinson    PhD Research Student

Mr Martin Robinson

PhD Research Student

Martin joined the Veterans' Health and Well-Being Study in July 2016 enrolling in a PhD studentship aligned to the project. Martin formerly completed his BSc in Psychology at Ulster University, graduating in 2016. The title of Martin's PhD is "Design, Development, and Implementation of a Quantitative Psychological Well-Being Survey Among Military Veterans Living in Northern Ireland" and seeks to establish procedures for examining health and well-being among this group using quantitative and statistical methods. Martin's primary research interests are concerned with psychotraumatology, in particular the etiology of Complex PTSD, and the mental health outcomes of special occupational groups.