THE BOLTON CLARKE GROUP, INCLUDING ALTURA LEARNING AND THE BOLTON CLARKE RESEARCH INSTITUTE PRESENT – THE VETERAN FAMILY TOOLKIT SERIES
This series of videos aims to inform and educate current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and importantly families and friends, about mental health. These videos cover post-traumatic mental health, avenues to treatment, and how to best support yourself and your loved one. The videos are designed to break down the stigma around seeking help, and include input from veterans, families, and experts in the field.
Veterans and their families share personal stories in this confronting but hopeful educational video series. The Veteran Family Toolkit explores mental health conditions experienced by returned service people, with an emphasis on PTSD. The aim is to let all Veterans and their families know that they are not alone and help is available.
Pat McIntosh, AM, CSC, Chairman of Bolton Clarke and Director of the Royal Australian Regiment Association introduces the videos which can be seen in full on this link.
WHY THIS SERIES?
The video series emanated from a research project conducted by the Bolton Clarke Research Institute. The team aimed to explore the experience of veterans and their families, and identify gaps in health and social care for current and ex-serving ADF members and their families. Through focus groups and interviews*, a number of key areas of interest were apparent, including :
- the difficulties faced during transition out of the Defence Force
- mental health needs across different groups of veterans
- challenges faced in seeking help for mental health conditions
- impact of service and mental health conditions on family members, and
- the need to support partners, children and parents, of veterans.
*held in Townsville and Brisbane with 88 current and ex-serving ADF members, their families, and members of ex-service organisations,
The main gap identified concerns the support and services provided to families of serving and ex-serving members of the ADF. Family members expressed feeling excluded, left behind, and ignored, with services and support provided primarily at crisis point, if at all. These findings provided the impetus to create the Veteran Family Toolkit as an avenue for trusted information about mental health, and to provide hope that recovery is possible.