Over half of individuals in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) experience a mental health diagnosis in their lifetime. In addition to being at a slightly higher rate than reported for the general community, the profile of diagnosis differs. Access to appropriate mental health services for veterans and their families is often hindered by confusion around entitlements, availability and best practice. There is evidence that ADF family members may experience distress in response to mental health issues, and that good family function is an integral part of maintaining or improving an ADF member’s mental health.
Bolton Clarke Institute is investigating effective mental health services for Australian veterans and their families. By co-creating an evidence-based mental health family toolkit and developing a mental health training program for community nurses, this project aims to progress evidence and support in the area of veteran’s mental health.