The WATCH project is now recruiting ADF family members.
The WATCH Project is about finding ways that Defence health processes can be bolstered to better manage ADF members experiencing changes in their mental health, and how Defence can better support ADF members manage their own mental health. This families component of the WATCH Project is about understanding the perspectives and experiences of family members of current ADF members.
If you have any questions or have difficulties accessing the registration page please contact Phoenix Australia at [email protected] and a WATCH project team member will be in touch.
We are interested in talking to you about your experiences with supporting your family member in maintaining their mental health and wellbeing. We are particularly interested in what you might do and what resources you might use if you start noticing changes in your family member; such as changes in their sleep, relationships or everyday coping.
Am I eligible for the WATCH project?
You are eligible to participate if you:
- Are a family member of a current-serving ADF member (permanent/regular) (i.e. spouse, partner, son or daughter, parent or other close family member); and
- Are over age 18.
If you feel you meet the eligibility criteria, and are interested in participating in the WATCH project, please click the ‘Register your interest’ button to provide your contact details, and a WATCH project team member from Phoenix Australia will be in touch. We recognise that other groups may consider themselves as family members of ADF members, and these groups would not necessarily be excluded from this project if they are interested in participating.
What does the WATCH project involve?
If you are interested in participating, you will take part in a focus group on a voluntary basis. We will contact you to organise a time for the focus group and provide you other relevant information about the project. You will be able to ask any questions you may have about the project during this conversation or at any other time.
As part of the focus group, you will be asked at least six questions, which should take approximately one hour of your time. You will be asked questions about how you notice early changes in your family member’s mental health symptoms, support options, whether you have provided help or guidance in the past, and whether changes in your family member’s mental health has or would impact you.
If you feel you may be suitable for participating in this project, and would like to see whether you may be eligible, please click here. For more information about the study including possible benefits and risks to participation please download the Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form.
Why is the WATCH project important?
This research has been designed to inform how Defence health processes can be bolstered to better manage ADF members experiencing changes in their mental health, as well as to inform how Defence can better support ADF members proactively manage their own mental health. This research may also identify resources that are currently not available, but that may be useful to ADF family members. Ultimately, better management of these changes in mental health can contribute to a reduction in the impact of disorder and improved outcomes in work, home and social life.
Who is conducting the WATCH project?
The WATCH project is being conducted by Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health — in conjunction with the Department of Defence.
This research project has been approved by the Department of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (Protocol Number: 277-20).
For further information about the project, you can also email [email protected] to get in contact with the WATCH project research team.