Doomscrolling is the behaviour of dwelling in an endless feed of negative news stories and social media posts. Exposure to uncensored imagery and unreliable fake news has the potential to generate distress. Following the recent events in Afghanistan many of our people are vulnerable to this activity now more than ever, with the ongoing pandemic, lockdowns and resultant posting and family stressors.

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Experiencing an emotional reaction is common during times of stress and uncertainty. Doomscrolling has a negative impact on mental health, triggering and worsening anxiety, stress, depression and panic. Having access to reliable information for personnel so they can acknowledge and understand potential responses can be useful. JHC have a prepared a range of mental health resources that can assist.

IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs care about the welfare of all personnel involved in the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry and are committed to ensuring there is access to support for individuals and their families.

ADF personnel and their families involved in, or affected by, the Afghanistan Inquiry are supported by their chain-of-command and also have access to a range of other assistance including mental health, medical, legal, pastoral and social work services. Former serving ADF personnel and their families involved in, or affected by, the Afghanistan Inquiry have access to support from DVA and Defence, who provide medical and mental health services, and in some cases, legal support.

For more information visit https://afghanistaninquiry.defence.gov.au/

This report provides an overview of health services and support provided by Joint Health Command for the period 01 July to 30 June 2019.

View the JHC Annual Review (PDF 3.4MB) page for more information.

 

Joint Health Command Annual Review 2018-2019 Publication Cover

On 10 October 2017, Acting Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs and the Secretary of Defence Mr Greg Moriarty, launched the Defence Mental Health and Well-being Strategy 2018-2023.

This Strategy consolidates and builds on our experience and recognises out commitment to a whole or organisation approach to improving the mental health and well-being of all Defence personnel through their service in the ADF or as APS employees.

It acknowledges the similarities and unique elements of the ADF and APS workforce and recognises the need to distinguish the specific services and initiatives tailored to each. The strategic objectives apply to everyone in Defence but also reflect the specific and additional challenges posed by military service.

For a web accessibility copy of the document please contact mental.health@defence.gov.au 

ADF Cadets now have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP provides free, confidential and professional counselling to help people resolve problems that may impact their life. For more information see Defence Employee Assistance Program.

Serving members that may have developed PTSD during or after their military service may be able to participate in a new clinical treatment trial known as the RESTORE Trial - Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery.

The RESTORE Trial is investigating one of the most effective treatments for PTSD - known as Prolonged Exposure (PE). Prolonged Exposure therapy is a gold standard evidence-based treatment best described as a type of trauma - focused cognitive behavioural therapy.

The trial is being held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

For more information visit the RESTORE page.

A new smart phone app developed by the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Defence has been released to help current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) manage immediate responses to stress and help build resilience.

Features include:

  • Tools for managing stress
  • Assess and adjust your physical and behavioural responses, your thoughts and emotions
  • Performance and resilience training
  • Improving physical reactions
  • Controlling thoughts
  • Controlling emotions
  • Changing behaviours
  • Personal goal setting and ability to measure progress
  • Immediate assistance for crises

This app is a self help tool and is not designed to replace professional help. There are a range of professional help options such as through your local Defence Health Centre, the ADF All-Hours Support Line on 1800 628 036, or Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling on 1800 011 046.

High Res is free to download from the iOS App Store and Android Google Play.

Further information on the app is available on Defence’s Fighting Fit health and well-being portal.