These resources will help you better understand the unique aspects of military culture and service, and help you provide the most effective care to veterans.
- Mental Health Advice Book – About veterans and families chapter: A DVA-written resource for health practitioners to help them better understand the veteran experience, and the impacts of service on families.
- At Ease Professional: A DVA website offering a range of free veteran-related mental health resources to health professionals.
- National Center for PTSD – For Professionals: Developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, this website offers free information and resources about the veteran experience, and assessment, diagnosis and treatment of trauma-related symptoms.
- Webinar series: Mental health and the military experience: A series of free webinars developed by DVA and the Mental Health Professionals Network, addressing topics such as treating PTSD, sleep issues, substance abuse, anger, and supporting veterans’ families. The videos and audio can be downloaded or streamed from YouTube; no registration or membership is required.
- From Warzone to Home Front course: A US-developed webinar series with over 30 free videos on a range of topics related to veteran mental health, treatments, and family experience. A free membership is required to access the content.
- Supporting veteran mental health: An e-learning package developed by Phoenix Australia to assist mental health practitioners in their role in supporting veterans who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
- DVA Understanding the military experience: A DVA e-learning program providing information about the context of military training, culture, and long-term effects of military service. The free 2-hour program can be accessed by using the registration code ‘ext’.
- DVA VetAWARE: A DVA e-learning program for nurses and other providers who assist veterans and their families in the home. The free 5-hour program provides knowledge and skills required to identify mental health issues and respond confidently and appropriately. The program can be accessed by using the registration code ‘ext’.
- DVA Case formulation: A DVA e-learning program to help practitioners make better sense of the often complex needs of veterans, and to develop a “road map” for more effective treatment. The 3 hour program is free and is accessible by using the registration code ‘ext’.
Client information, resources and research trial opportunities
- DVA HighRes website and app: A DVA resource to help serving and ex-serving ADF members to build resilience. Based on the Self-Management and Resilience Training (SMART) that ADF personnel learn throughout their careers, the package consists of a website and accompanying app.
- DVA The Right Mix website and app: A DVA resource for serving and ex-serving ADF members to learn about the impact of alcohol on their lives, and how to reduce that impact. There is also a companion app to track alcohol consumption and spending habits.
- DVA Operation Life website and app: A DVA resource for serving and ex-serving ADF members, and their families, to raise suicide awareness. It aims to help people understand the warning signs of suicide and how to help keep those at risk of suicide, safe. There is also a companion app to help those at risk deal with suicidal thoughts with the support of a clinician.
- DVA At Ease website: A DVA website providing tips, treatment options and resources for serving and ex-serving ADF members, and their families, who need emotional and psychological support.
- Anzac Centre trials: The Anzac Centre’s Treatment Research Collaboration leads a range of research studies that veterans can participate in that examine PTSD and other complex miltary-related mental health issues.
- Education sheet for ex-service organisations working with veterans: After consultation with ex-service organisation staff we developed this education sheet to provide a framework for working with veterans who have mental health difficulties.
Services for veterans
- Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling: A specialised, free and confidential nation-wide counselling and support service for eligible members of the serving and ex-serving community and their families. The website contains information about group programs, research and factsheets, or call 1800 011 046 (24/7).
- DVA Trauma Recovery Programs: DVA provides access to PTSD treatment programs at some private and public hospitals throughout Australia. These programs are provided on an outpatient basis and meet national accreditation standards developed by DVA.
- Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs): ESOs can provide a range of support to serving and ex-serving ADF members. Support can include welfare support, assistance with DVA claims, social support, employment programs, etc.
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA): DVA delivers programs for serving and ex-serving ADF members, members of the Australian Federal Police and their families. The website contains a wide range of information including benefits and payments, health and wellbeing, consultation and grants, providers, and commemorations, memorials and war graves.
- Defence Community Organisation (DCO): DCO offers a broad range of programs and services to ADF members and families to help them manage military life. Access to programs and services is through an all-hours Defence Family helpline on 1800 624 608 where an initial assessment is followed by tailored assistance.
- Engage – Supporting those who serve: Defence’s Engage is an online portal that current, transitioning, and former ADF members, their families, and/or those involved in their support can use to locate support services.
- DVA Evidence Compass: This is a database of downloadable literature scans on a range of veteran health and wellbeing topics.
- DVA Transition and Wellbeing Research: This research program examines the impact of military service on the mental, physical and social health of serving and ex-serving ADF members and their families
- A profile of Australia’s veterans 2018: This report presents an overview of what is known about the health and welfare of Australian veterans, identifies key data gaps, and looks at what could be done to improve the evidence base.
Practitioner Veteran and Military Interest Groups
MHPN Veteran-focused network
The Mental Health Professionals’ Network has Veteran-Focussed Networks across Australia who meet locally four times a year. The network builds practitioner relations, improves referral pathways, provides professional development, and offers peer support. Members include GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists.
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Military Special Interest Group
This Military Special Interest Group group aims to educate members about the complexities of military culture, and to provide a platform for research and clinical interest development by facilitating communication pathways between interested professionals.
Australian Psychological Society Interest Group – Military and Emergency Service and Psychology
This group is specifically for psychologists, at any skill level, who work with serving or ex-service military, police, fire, or emergency services personnel. The Australian Psychological Society Interest Group provides an opportunity for professional connection, information sharing, and training development.
RACGP Military Medicine Specific Interest Network
The RACGP recognises that many GPs develop interest in specific areas of general practice throughout their career. RACGP members with a special interest in military general practice are able to submit an application to join the Chapter of Military Medicine.
ASORC clinical guidelines
The Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors is hosting a webinar on the Australian Guidelines for Work-related Mental Health Conditions in General Practice, presented by Professor Danielle Mazza.
The Clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of work-related mental health conditions in general practice were released in March 2019 following a round of public consultation in which ASORC provided a submission.