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Defence Health

Mental Health Programs

Mental Health Research and Evaluation (MHR&E)

The Mental Health Research and Evaluation section investigates military mental health and wellbeing in the ADF. Projects contribute to the design and delivery of evidence-based mental health programs in the ADF and the evaluation of those programs. The current MHR&E projects are listed below.

Military and Veteran Research Study Roll

To assist with the recruitment of participants for current and future Defence or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) approved health research, DVA and Defence have established the Military and Veteran Research Study Roll (Study Roll). This is a database which contains the details of current serving ADF personnel, including Reservists, and ex-serving ADF personnel who transitioned out of the ADF between 2010 and 2014. To protect the privacy of current and former personnel, the Study Roll is being held at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Current ADF members, including Reserve personnel, were notified of the Study Roll in March 2015, via address details held in PMKeyS. Between March and May 2015, all members were offered the opportunity to opt-out of having their details provided to researchers for the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme.

The details of some individuals on the Study Roll were provided to the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, University of Adelaide in May 2015 for the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme. Details of any individuals who opted out prior to 7 May 2015 were not provided to the University of Adelaide.

ADF members still have the opportunity to opt-out of their details being provided for future research. Individuals who do not wish for their details to be provided to researchers can opt-out with no detriment to their career or future medical care.

Those who wish to remain on the Study Roll do not have to do anything.

If you wish to opt-out, please email your full name, PMKeyS number and date of birth to optout.studyroll@defence.gov.au and ‘OPT OUT’ in the subject line.

For further information on the Study Roll, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme The largest and most comprehensive study undertaken in Australia to examine the impact of military service on the health of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families commences in June 2015. Funded by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) and Defence, the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme brings together six of Australia's leading research institutions and will be led by the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at the University of Adelaide and the Australian Institute of Family Studies. This research will help DVA and Defence improve health services for serving and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families, and will build on previous research conducted through the Military Health Outcomes Programme (MilHOP).

ADF personnel are also encouraged to let former ADF colleagues know about the Programme. As the contact details of ex-serving members may be out of date, ex-serving individuals who would like to have their details updated on the Study Roll and/or participate in the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme are encouraged to register their interest at transitionwellbeing.adelaide.edu.au.

LASER-Resilience Study Many ADF members are exposed to potentially traumatic experiences in the course of their duty. These experiences impact on members differently, depending on their psychological and behavioural attributes. The Longitudinal ADF Study Evaluating Resilience (LASER-Resilience) is investigating those psychological and behavioural attributes that contribute to psychological resilience in the ADF by studying new members as they adjust and progress in their military career. The results of this study will inform resilience training programs, such as BattleSMART, and assist in building a stronger and more resilient ADF.

2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Well-being Study The 2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study is the first comprehensive investigation of the mental health of an ADF serving population. The study provides a summary of the 12-month prevalence of mental health disorder in the ADF and identifies subgroups that warrant further investigation. The performance of mental health instruments currently used in the ADF and occupational issues of relevance to the ADF mental health strategy are also examined. The full report can be found along with other findings from the Military Health Outcomes Programme (MilHOP).

The 2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study Executive Report of key findings and a detailed technical version 2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study Report are available.

ADF Mental Health Surveillance

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The goal of ADF Mental Health Surveillance is to contribute to improvements in the mental health and wellbeing of ADF personnel by conducting research in support of the ADF mental health strategy, mental health screening and mental health services provided to ADF members.

    The main tasks include:
  1. Managing and analysing all mental health screening related data;
  2. Providing ad hoc data summaries based on mental health screening and surveillance reports;
  3. Undertaking psychometric and evaluation studies of mental health screening instruments;
  4. Providing client sponsored research and project evaluation support;
  5. Supporting mental health research governance, coordination and representation; and
  6. Contributing to the information management and system development of mental health support processes.

3 November, 2017