The Hon Darren Chester MP
Assistant Minister for Defence
The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Human Services
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
The Australian Government will invest $1.46m in a research project to enhance treatment programs for current and former Australian military personnel with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a bid to improve their mental health and wellbeing and better support their families.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has awarded a four-year partnership project grant to Phoenix Australia, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health to work in collaboration with the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) on world-leading research to improve PTSD treatment.
“The current approach to PTSD treatment involves weekly therapy over a period of three months, which can be difficult for Defence personnel due to the nature of military life, and for ex-serving personnel in coordinating with their civilian employment,” Mr Robert said.
“The research will test whether delivering more intensive PTSD treatment in a shorter period will better support Australia’s military personnel and veterans.”
Assistant Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, said Defence and DVA already provide access to evidence-based treatment for PTSD and both agencies will use findings from this project to inform future delivery of mental health care for serving and ex-serving ADF members.
“The 8.3 per cent prevalence of PTSD in the Australian Defence Force remains a concern,” Mr Chester said.
“This partnership reflects a long-standing collaboration between both departments and Phoenix Australia in improving services and mental health programs available to ADF personnel, veterans and their families.”
The research trial is expected to commence in 2016.
Current and former ADF personnel and their families who need mental health counselling and support services now can contact the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) on 1800 011 014 for 24/7 support.
Brie Colley (Minister Chester) 0475 962 448
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert) 0477 391 174
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media (02) 6289 6203
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999