Assessing the impact of service

7 Sep 2015

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DEFENCE and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) are calling for members and their families to participate in the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme.

The programme is the largest and most comprehensive study undertaken in Australia to examine the impact of military service on the mental, physical and social health of serving and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families.

If you are a serving ADF member, have transitioned out of full-time service since 2010, or have a family member who meets this eligibility criteria, you may have been or may be contacted to participate.

The Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies (CTSS) at the University of Adelaide is leading a team of researchers to complete the Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition Study and the Impact of Combat Study.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies will conduct the Family Wellbeing Study.

The Service Chiefs have approved the programme, which is looking at mental health and wellbeing after transition, the impact of combat, as well as family wellbeing, in three separate studies.

Data collection began in early June and will end in November. Up to 50,000 serving (including 11,000 reservists) and ex-serving ADF members, and up to 35,000 family members, will be invited to participate in the different components of the programme — more than 50,000 of these invites have already been sent.

Data collection will be via surveys and some individuals have or will be invited to participate in telephone interviews and physical tests, including neurocognitive assessments.

Commander Joint Health RAdm Robyn Walker said if you had been invited to participate, but had not yet completed the survey, the team still needed your help.

“Although participation numbers have been high, the programme team still needs your help to reach their goal of a 50 per cent response rate,” RAdm Walker said.

“So far we’ve had the highest number of survey completions from Air Force. Members from Navy and Army are not that far behind and the survey will remain open until October 30 if you would like to get involved.” Participants are also reminded to nominate their family members for the Family Wellbeing Study. Only family members nominated by serving or former ADF members will be invited to participate.

If you have not yet been contacted by CTSS and wish to participate, register your interest HERE