Sponsored by the Forces in Mind Trust

Veterans' Mental Health
Conference 2024

The importance of integrating health and wellbeing research and clinical practice

About The Event

Organised by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research. Bringing together leading academics, researchers, medical professionals and charities to discuss the key issues in military mental health and the Armed Forces community.

The FiMT Research Centre Conference will conveniently be held in the same location, the day before (Monday 13th May 2024).

After this conference on the 13th May, there will be a drinks and canape reception in the early evening, for delegates who attended either day.

You can subscribe to the FiMT RC mailing list or visit their website for updates on the FiMT RC Conference: fimt-rc.org


King's College London, Bush House South East Wing, Strand Campus, London, WC2R 1AE


14 May 2024

VMHC 2024 Speakers

Prof Nicola Fear

Professor Nicola Fear

Organiser / Chair

King's Centre for Military Health Research

Prof Dominic Murphy

Professor Dominic Murphy

Organiser / Chair

King's Centre for Military Health Research / Combat Stress

Prof Sir Simon Wessley

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Chair - King's Centre for Military Health Research

Dr Abhimanyu Sud

Dr. Abhimanyu Sud

Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans

Prof Alan Finnegan

Professor Alan Finnegan

University of Chester

Dr Alyson Mahar

Dr. Alyson Mahar

Queens University Canada

Dr Camila Guindalini

Dr Camila Guindalini

Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation

Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane

Prof Cherie Armour

Professor Cherie Armour



Cheyenne Kohere

Cheyenne Kohere

New Zealand National Institute of Skills and Technology

Toi Ohomai Te Pūkenga

Clare Pope

Clare Pope

Reader at Brunel University London


Craig Jones

Craig Jones

Fighting for Pride


Dan Dyball

Dr Dan Dyball


Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation

Danny Kinahan

Danny Kinahan

Northern Ireland’s Veterans Commissioner

Prof David Forbes

Professor David Forbes

Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

Dr David Turgoose

Dr David Turgoose

University of Leeds


Prof Dr Elbert Geuze

Professor Dr Elbert Geuze

Utrecht University Medical Center

Georgina Drysdale

Georgina Drysdale

Office for Veterans'Affairs


Gwen O'Connor

Dr Gwen O'Connor

Veterans NHS Wales

Dr Jodie Westhead

Dr Jodie Westhead

University of Manchester


Kate England

Kate England

Lived experience


Kate McCullough

Kate McCullough


Dr Lydia Morris

Dr Lydia Morris

University of Manchester


Dr Marie-Louise Sharp

Dr Marie-Louise Sharp

Kings College London

Dr Mary Keeling

Dr Mary Keeling

RAND Europe


Prof Matthew Kiernan

Professor Matthew Kiernan

Northumbria University


Michelle Alston

Michelle Alston

Forces in Mind Trust


Dr Natalie Hammond

Dr Natalie Hammond

Manchester Metropolitan University


Natasha Biscoe

Natasha Biscoe

Combat Stress


Ronessa Dass

Ronessa Dass

McMaster University



Session 1: Why integrated healthcare matters

Chair: Prof. Nicola Fear

09:00 - 09:30 Registration

09:30 - 09:40 Opening Address (Prof. Sir Simon Wessley)

09:40 - 10:00 Prevalence of mental and physical heath disorders in military veterans: a comparison study using primary healthcare data (Prof. Alan P Finnegan)

10:00 - 10:20 What is the impact on the mental health of Canadian military families? (Dr. Alyson Mahar)

10:20 - 10:40 Veteran Care: A Snapshot of Life as a spouse (Kate England)

10:40 - 11:00 (TBC)

11:00 - 11:30 BREAK

Session 2: Parallel Sessions: Highlighting the latest health & wellbeing research

Session 2A: Lifespan (11:30 - 12:30)

11:30 - 11:45 Military to Civilian Transition - a family's journey (Cheyenne Kohere)

11:45 - 12:00 Associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Complex-PTSD, Moral Injury and social support (Dr David Turgoose)

12:00 - 12:15 Assessing Psychosocial Factors relevant to Veterans' Transition (Dr Camila Guindalini)

12:15 - 12:30 Supporting Veterans Living with Dementia: A multiphase UK based study (Dr Lydia Morris)

Session 2B: Physical Health (11:30 - 12:30)

11:30 - 11:45 The effect of team sport on the health and well-being of medically discharged WIS military veterans (Clare Pope)

11:45 - 12:00 Combat-Genital Injury in UK Male Military Veteran (Dr Mary Keeling and Dr Natalie Hammond)

12:00 - 12:15 The mind speaks through heart beats: Physical combat injury, mental health and cardiovascular health (Dr Dan Dyball)

12:15 - 12:30 “You’re there, but your brain is not”: A qualitative descriptive study on the impacts of brain fog in Veterans with chronic pain (Ronessa Dass)

Sessions 2C: Looking at ways to reduce risk (11:30 - 12:30)

11:30 - 11:45 Developing a tool for identifying clinical risk from free text clinical records using natural language processing and machine learning (Natasha Biscoe)

11:45 - 12:00 Understand, Identify and Prevent: Understanding care breakdown and suicide in the United Kingdom’s Veteran population (Prof. Matthew Kiernan)

12:00 - 12:15 Exploring suicidality risk in veteran’s resident in Northern Ireland (Prof. Cherie Armour)

12:15 - 12:30 Suicide after leaving the UK Armed Forces – Rates and risk factors (Dr Jodie Westhead)

12:30 - 13:30 LUNCH & NETWORKING

Session 3: Examples of health and wellbeing disorders that need an integrated approach

Chair: Prof. Dominic Murphy

13:30 - 13:50 Delivering the UK government's first Women Veterans' Strategy (Georgina Drysdale)

13:50 - 14:10 Advancing chronic pain research to improve Veteran health and well-being (Dr. Abhimanyu Sud)

14:10 - 14:30 Imaging trauma: Neuroimaging research in posttraumatic stress disorder in military personnel (Prof. Elbert Geuze)

14:30 - 14:50 Is anger in veterans a public health issue? (Prof. David Forbes)

14:50 - 15:20 BREAK

Session 4: Bringing it together

Chair: Prof. Dominic Murphy

15:20 - 15:50 Update from the Minister' Johnny Mercer MP

15:50 - 16:10 What epidemiological data can tell us about co-morbidity and complex health needs (Dr. Marie-Louise Sharp)

16:10 - 16:50 What are the benefits and challenges of integrating health systems: panel discussion (Commissioners and experts - Danny Kinahan, Craig Jones, Dr. Gwen O'Connor, Kate McCullough)

16:50 - 17:00 Closing remarks from conference chair & poster prizes (Prof. Dominic Murphy)

Event Venue

King's College London, Bush House South East Wing, Strand Campus, London, WC2R 1AE

King's College London, London

King’s College London is an internationally renowned university delivering exceptional education and world-leading research.

Buy Tickets

VMHC 2024 Day Ticket

  • Free Wifi
  • Refreshments including lunch
  • Access to presentations
  • Drinks reception

VMHC 2024 & FiMT RC 2024

  • Free Wifi
  • Refreshments including lunch
  • Access to presentations
  • Drinks reception

Cobseo Members – VMHC 2024 DAY TICKET

  • Free Wifi
  • Refreshments including lunch
  • Access to presentations
  • Drinks reception

Cobseo Members - VMHC 2024 & FIMT RC 2024

  • Free Wifi
  • Refreshments including lunch
  • Access to presentations
  • Drinks reception

Ticket F.A.Q

  • Tickets can be purchased via the King's College London e-store by clicking here.

  • Please email [email protected] and ask for the password. You must ensure you include your organisations name in your email, so we can verify you are a Cobseo member. Please note each organisation is entitled to a maximum of 2 discounted tickets.

  • Our policy is as follows:

    • Cancellation before 13th April 2024 – 100% refund 
    • Cancellation less than one month before the event – no refund
    Please contact us via [email protected] for our refund policy.

Call for Abstracts: Oral Presentations or Posters

Submissions for this year’s Veterans’ Mental Health Conference (VMHC) for oral presentations or for the poster session are now live. We invite submissions from those working in the sector researching the Armed Forces community (including research on serving personnel, veterans and their families). In particular, would welcome submissions from early career researchers (ECRs). The theme for the 2024 conference is ‘The importance of integrating health and wellbeing research and clinical practice’. As such, we encourage submissions to be linked to the theme.

Your abstract should be no more than 250 words and must include a funding statement (not included in the word count stating if funding supported this research or not, and if so, who the project was funded by). If you do not have funding, please declare this. Abstracts with no or preliminary findings will be considered if the full and final findings will be available by the time of the conference (14th May 2024). Please make this clear when you submit your abstract.

Selected abstracts will be allocated as either:
  • An oral presentation which will take place on the day. Presentations are to be 15 minutes long, including 5 minutes for questions.
  • A traditional poster to be displayed for the duration of the conference.

Oral Presentation: If your abstract is selected as an oral presentation, you will be given a complimentary ticket to the VMH conference.

Poster Presentation: If your abstract is selected as a poster you will need to purchase a ticket. However, posters will be eligible for to win a prize. There are 3 x £50 vouchers available to win.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased via the King's College London estore. Please note, the FiMT Research Centre are holding their conference the day before, on 13th May 2024 in the same location.

Please submit your abstract to [email protected] by Monday 15th January 2024. In your email, please include the following:

  • Your full name and institutional affiliation.
  • Indicate if you are an Early Career Researcher: whether you are a masters' student, PhD student or recent doctoral graduate (within last 3 years).
  • Your abstract (maximum 250 words) with a clear title and funding statement.
  • Your preference for an oral presentation, poster presentation or either.


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Contact Us

Organiser Address

King's Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR)
Weston Education Centre, Cutcombe Road, SE5 9RJ