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On Friday 15th September, the Centenary of Anzac Centre was launched at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Dan Tehan MP.
An initiative of Phoenix Australia, the Centenary of Anzac Centre will improve the mental health of current and former Defence personnel. The Anzac Centre comprises a treatment research collaboration to discover new and more effective treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems, and a nationwide support service for practitioners who treat veterans.
The Anzac Centre will undertake pioneering research and provide expert advice to practitioners nationwide who are supporting veterans with PTSD. The Government’s investment in the Centenary of Anzac Centre will lead to improved treatment of mental health conditions, including PTSD.”
– The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Discovering new treatments for PTSD
The Treatment Research Collaboration will undertake pioneering research into PTSD and other complex military-related mental health issues. Testing new and innovative treatments, enhancing treatment effectiveness, and addressing gaps in knowledge will be primary goals. With a central hub in Melbourne at Phoenix Australia and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, satellite sites across Australia will create links with ADF Garrison Health Services, the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service, key research centres, and private hospitals specialising in veteran and military mental health.
Expert advice and guidance for practitioners
The Practitioner Support Service will provide expert advice and guidance to practitioners around Australia who are treating and supporting veterans with mental health problems. The service will be flexible and accessible, using multiple communication channels to ensure support is available to every practitioner who needs it. The work of the support service will ensure that effective treatments are widely available, and that practitioners are supported in using evidence-based treatments.
An integrated and collaborative approach
The Treatment Research Collaboration and the Practitioner Support Service will integrate and work together to ensure research is responsive to the needs of practitioners in the field. Feedback from practitioners will inform future research, and in turn, research findings will be translated into advice on best practice approaches.
Fundamental to the Anzac Centre’s work will be collaboration with research centres and institutions, expert clinicians and treatment centres, emerging centres, ex-service organisations, and health professional organisations.
For the first time, the veteran and military mental health community will have the means, via the Anzac Centre, to bring together the researchers and the practitioners, to discover and share new knowledge, to provide support and advice, and to feed back those gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed.
Guiding the work of the Anzac Centre
An Expert Council will guide and manage the delivery of the Anzac Centre’s activities. Members of the Expert Council are Professors David Forbes (Phoenix Australia), Richard Bryant (University of NSW), Mal Hopwood (University of Melbourne), Alexander McFarlane (University of Adelaide), Associate Professor Meaghan O’Donnell (Phoenix Australia, President ISTSS), and Dr John Cooper, Associate Professor Darryl Wade and Dr Andrea Phelps of Phoenix Australia.
A broader consultation group including leaders of health services, ex-service organisations, and other collaborators will be established to support engagement in and dissemination of the activities of the Anzac Centre.
Phoenix Australia sincerely thanks the Australian Government for its generous foundation grant and support for the Centenary of Anzac Centre.
The Anzac Centre will be in a development phase over the next few months. To stay in touch with developments and to be advised when services launch, visit the Anzac Centre website, and subscribe for updates.