The Contact Group

The UK collaboration for military mental health policy, treatment and research

Contact Armed Forces

The UK collaboration for military mental health policy, treatment and research

‘Military mental health sector review and case management: Challenges and opportunities’
Online conference co-hosted by the Contact Group and the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office (NIVSO)
Tue 16 March 2021, 0930-1300

Many thanks to all the speakers and attendees who joined us for Contact and NIVSO’s recent online conference on military mental health. You can find the background to the event, the conference programme with links to speakers’ slides and links to other available resources and outputs from the conference below.

More information about the Veterans’ Mental Health Information System outlined during the conference can be found here. If you would like to submit feedback on the proposed system or the conference itself, or if you have queries about any of the outputs, please use our contact form or email: anna.owen@contactarmedforces.org.uk

Conference resources & outputs:
Speaker slides – where used, please click the relevant links in the conference programme below
Conference pack (including speaker biographies)
Conference video recording


About the event

This free conference was open to all professionals working in military mental health, as well as those with a role or interest in veterans’ case management. Veterans and families were also welcome to attend. The aim of the event was to review recent developments in the military mental health sector, including identifying any challenges and opportunities to address them. Also to share details of (and seek feedback on) the veterans’ mental health information system (VMHIS) proposed by the Cobseo/Contact case management working group and presently being scoped by consultants.

The programme included keynote speakers, speaker panels and opportunities for audience Q&As and discussion. The full programme with links to speakers’ slides (where used) is below.

The keynote speeches and first session had a Northern Ireland focus, as Contact is a collaboration of organisations from all four nations of the UK and this conference was originally due to take place in Belfast. The second and third sessions focused on veterans’ mental health and case management in the UK (case management is one of Contact’s priority work areas) and outlined and invited feedback on the proposed veterans’ mental health information system (VMHIS).


Military mental health sector review and case management: Challenges and opportunities

Conference programme (see links for speaker slides)

Co-hosted by Liz Brown, Head of Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office (NIVSO) and Charles Winstanley, Chair of Contact Group

0920-0930: Virtual arrivals
0930-0935: Welcome & introduction – Liz Brown

0935-0940: Keynote: Mental health in Northern Ireland
Video message from Robin Swann MLA, Minister of Health, Northern Ireland Assembly – introduced by Liz Brown

0940-1000: Keynote: Veterans’ mental health in Northern Ireland
Speaker: Danny Kinahan, Northern Ireland Veterans’ Commissioner
(10 mins)
Followed by audience Q&As – chaired by Liz Brown

1000-1100: Veterans’ mental health in Northern Ireland
Speakers will comment (3 mins each) on their top three strategic issues and will include:
– Johnny Rollins, Chief Executive, Reserve Forces & Cadets Association for NI
Ciaran Mulholland, Clinical Director, NI Regional Trauma Network
– Peter Baillie, Director, UDR & R IRISH Aftercare Service
Cherie Armour, Professor of Psychological Trauma & Mental Health, Queen’s University Belfast
David Cameron, Clinical Lead Psychologist, Inspire Wellbeing
Ben Higgins, Welfare Officer, The Ely Centre; Volunteer Caseworker, SSAFA NI; Vice-chairman, Not Forgotten Association
Art O’Malley, Head of Clinical Services, The Ely Centre – slides
Followed by audience Q&As and discussion – chaired by Liz Brown

1100-1115: Break

1115-1155: Proposed veterans’ mental health information system (VMHIS) presented by members of the Cobseo/Contact case management working group (5-7 mins each):
Roy Brown, Director of Governance Support, Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo) – notes
James Greenrod, Head – Armed Forces People Support, Ministry of Defence
Andy Bacon, Head of Policy & Strategy for Armed Forces, NHS England & NHS Improvement – slides
Nicola Cook, Assistant Director of Operations, Royal British Legion
Followed by audience Q&As and discussion – chaired by Charles Winstanley

1155-1255: UK military mental health & case management
Speakers (5-7 mins each):
David Richmond, Director, Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA)
Charlie Wallace, Scottish Veterans’ Commissioner – slides
Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health, King’s College London & Lead for Military & Veterans’ Mental Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists
David Rowley, Head of Operations: Regional & Specialist Services, Leeds & York NHS Partnership Trust – slides
Neil Kitchiner, Director & Consultant Clinical Lead, Veterans NHS Wales – slides
Catherine Kinane, Medical Director, Combat Stress – slides
Sarah Jones, Head of Psychological Wellbeing, Help for Heroes – slides
John McColl, Chairman, Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo)
Followed by audience Q&As and discussion – chaired by Charles Winstanley

1255-1300: Summary of key points – Charles Winstanley
1300: End

Image credit: Walking With The Wounded