Australian Government Mental Health Lifecycle Initiatives for Veterans and Former Serving Members
The Federal Government’s Lifecycle Initiatives aim to improve mental health outcomes for past and present members of the Australian Defence Force. ACPMH, in partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), is playing a central part in these developments.
We are currently undertaking four initiatives.
DVA Training for Mental Health Practitioners Initiative
This initiative aims to enhance the competency of existing community based mental health practitioners to provide veterans with evidence based best practice interventions for common mental health problems. Beginning in March 2009, this nationwide program of training will provide practitioners with practical tools to deal with complex cases. Training workshops will occur in a number of regional centres in every state. Practitioners will be assigned to a network of colleagues in their local area, and they will share information and provide peer support and advice. Practitioners will also receive ongoing follow-up support and expert consultation. For further information click here.
Trial to Engage More Former Serving Members in Mental Health Care
Many veterans with mental health problems do not access treatment or are not effectively engaged in mental health care. They include some veterans who have not asked for help at all, as well as some who have an accepted mental health disability. While we already know some of the barriers to veterans’ access to care, this initiative seeks to understand how veterans with mental health problems can be more effectively engaged in mental health care, and to trial some practical solutions.
For more information, read about the How are you travelling? Intiative.
Transition Mental Health and Family Collaborative (Townsville)
This joint initiative between ACPMH, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence aims to establish more effective mental health and family support services for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members at risk of, or experiencing, mental health problems. It will significantly enhance mental health and family support currently provided by the ADF Integrated People Support Model and the DVA transition services. The target group of the initiative is ADF members who are being medically discharged from the ADF and their family members, including those discharged with physical injuries.
ACPMH will work with services using an approach called a mental health and family learning collaborative. With the support of mental health and family experts from ACPMH, teams from the participating health, rehabilitation, transition and community services will work together and learn from each other during the course of 2009 to improve inter-agency coordination and their own work practices.
Services will work on five priority areas to improve their practices:
|Collaboration||Improved inter-agency collaboration.|
|Engagement||Effective engagement and communication practices.|
|Recognition||Better recognise mental health problems and related issues.|
|Families||Improved family sensitive and inclusive practices.|
|Interventions||More effective advice, support and treatment.|
Click here for further information
Click here for participant resources (restricted access)
Barriers to Rehabilitation Study
Participation in the community or workforce can have positive effects on health, mental health, and quality of life. While some veterans will never achieve full occupational rehabilitation due to the nature of their injuries, a range of other community involvement or voluntary work may be an appropriate goal for achieving the best quality of life. For those who may be able to return to work, the focus of rehabilitation may be on ensuring that effective support is available to them to help them maintain their work role.
The “Study into Barriers to Rehabilitation” is primarily focussed on DVA clients who receive services under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA). The research will be considering whether there is evidence of systematic barriers (particularly those that DVA may be able to redress) and individual barriers to successful rehabilitation for DVA clients. The study will investigate veterans’ attitudes and expectations about returning to work, and examine current barriers preventing participation in social and community activities.
The objective of the project is twofold: firstly to consider whether there is evidence of current barriers to successful rehabilitation for DVA clients based on capture of existing data and information; secondly to develop a mechanism for ongoing capture of relevant data to allow monitoring of outcomes of rehabilitation (including successful DVA procedures).