Rising to the challenge of disasters and public health emergencies is the focus of Phoenix Australia’s newly appointed Director, Alexandra Howard.
A collaboration that brings together experts from the 5 Eyes countries has recently held their second meeting to discuss military and veteran mental health and identify priority areas to advance outcomes for the community through innovations in treatment and research.
In 2018, a collaboration of military and veteran mental health experts from the 5-Eyes nations (UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) was formed with the aim of improving outcomes for the current and ex-serving military community, by leading the agenda in mental health research and treatment for serving military, veterans and their families.
The 5-Eyes Mental Health Research and Innovation Collaboration (5-Eyes MHRIC) is led by Phoenix Australia and the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. Each member of the group is an expert in military and veteran mental health, and through their organisations have advisory roles to their respective governments.
These experts gathering and pooling their thinking, knowledge and experience provides an opportunity for high level thought leadership to the field as a whole, and to the Ministers and Defence and Veterans Affairs departments of the 5-Eyes nations more specifically.
The collaboration first met in Sydney in October 2018, and met again this year in November in the Boston, USA.
On the agenda were five topics: improving outcomes for families, pathways to care, suicide prevention, moral injury, and progressing the treatment of PTSD. These are common areas of concern to each of the five countries, requiring continued research, investigation, development of policy and improved service delivery.
For two days the group shared their knowledge and experience. Sub-groups were formed which will lead the progress on each topic over the coming months.
Attendees at the meeting were as follows:
- Professor Nicola Fear, King’s Centre for Military Health Research
- Professor Sir Simon Wessely, King’s Centre for Military Health Research
- Professor Neil Greenberg, King’s Centre for Military Health Research
- Dr Marie-Louise Sharpe, King’s Centre for Military Health Research
- Dr Walter Busuttil, Combat Stress
- Dr Dominic Murphy, Combat Stress
- Dr Paula Schnurr, VA National Center for PTSD
- Dr Robert Ursano, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University
- Dr Amy Adler, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
- Dr Charles Hoge, Military Advisor the Foreign Ministry
- Dr Gary Wynn, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University
- Dr Josh Morgenstein, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University
- Professor Brett Litz, Boston University (for the Moral Injury presentation)
- Dr David Pedlar, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (Co-chair)
- Dr Alexandra Heber, Veteran Affairs
- Col Rakesh Jetly, Canadian Forces Health Service Group
- Dr Patrick Smith, Centre of Excellence – PTSD and Related Mental Health Concerns
- Dr Heidi Cramm, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research
- Dr Deniz Fikretoglu, Defence Research and Development
- Professor Don Richardson, MacDonald/Franklin OSI Research Centre
- Colonel Clare Bennett, Defence Health Directorate
- Professor David Forbes, Phoenix Australia (Co-Chair)
- Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, Phoenix Australia and Centenary of Anzac Centre
- Professor Richard Bryant, UNSW and Centenary of Anzac Centre
- Professor Alexander McFarlane, UA and Centenary of Anzac Centre
- Associate Professor Andrea Phelps, Phoenix Australia Centenary of Anzac Centre
- Enterprise Fellow Nicole Sadler, Phoenix Australia and Centenary of Anzac Centre
- Dr Miranda Van Hooff, Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies (in absentia)
- Professor Mark Creamer, the University of Melbourne (facilitator)