Wellness Action Through Checking Health project

The Wellness Action Through Checking Health (WATCH) research project was commissioned by Defence to identify the early symptoms displayed by ADF members when they experience changes in their mental health. The results of the project were used to support ADF members to take charge and manage their own mental health.

The WATCH Project was initiated following findings from 2 of the largest Australian military mental health projects:

Phoenix Australia conducted interviews with ADF members, Command, ADF family members, and health service providers. The interviews helped to understand how symptoms are experienced in Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, how these symptoms present to others, and whether they are being recognised.

The findings highlight the importance of improving the recognition, identification and appropriate management of early changes to mental health to help prevent symptoms from progressing.

The results emphasised the roles of family members, leadership, and health service providers in identifying and addressing early changes to mental health in ADF members. The network of support surrounding members should be maximised to ensure optimal wellbeing and functioning across the Defence life of the member.

Reports

Three reports were released under the WATCH Project:

  • The main report includes an executive summary of key findings across the 4 groups interviewed throughout the project. It also explores the themes identified in interviews with health service providers and ADF members.
  • The Family Addendum report explores the themes identified in interviews with family of ADF members.
  • The Command Addendum report explores the themes identified in interviews with Command personnel.

WATCH main report (2022) (PDF, 8.1 MB)

WATCH families Addendum report (2022) (PDF, 2.71 MB)

WATCH Command Addendum report (2022) (PDF, 1.97 MB)

Resources

The flyers below provide a summary of the main findings and resources available for each group to access for support.

WATCH member resources (2021) (PDF, 100.63 KB)

WATCH family member resources (2021) (PDF, 101.59 KB)

WATCH command resources (2021) (PDF, 101.61 KB)

WATCH health service provider resources (2021) (PDF, 103.12 KB)