The Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme has released three major reports that the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) said will help provide a better understanding of the health concerns of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel.
The research program was led by the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at the University of Adelaide, with their work hailed by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester.
“The reports, Technology Use and Wellbeing, Mental Health Changes Over Time: a Longitudinal Perspective and Impact of Combat, each explored important aspects of serving and ex-serving members lives,” Minister Chester said.
“Overall, the reports confirmed that most ADF members and their families are healthy and manage transition from the military to civilian life well, but some find transition challenging.
“The reports tell us that 84 per cent of transitioned ADF personnel were engaged in some purposeful activity, with 62.8 per cent in civilian employment — which includes 5.5 per cent who had retired. And we know that only 5.2 per cent of the almost 25,000 individuals who left the ADF between 2010 and 2014 were unemployed.”
Minister Chester added that the research highlighted that "more needs to be done to assist veterans and their families during the critical transition period to civilian life".
“The government has invested in veterans and their families over successive budgets, and as announced on Tuesday night, we have committed to a range of measures in the 2019-20 budget,” Minister Chester said.
“This includes an additional $16.2 million in the 2019-20 budget to support grants to not-for-profit organisations to deliver innovative programs to support veterans gain meaningful employment and $4.0 million to provide training to volunteers who work with veterans on mental health support and intervention.
“The government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and will spend $11.5 billion this year to deliver the essential services and support they rely on.
“Importantly, since this data has been collected, the government has funded the transformation and improvement of DVA, and increased support for mental health, transition and employment for current and former ADF members, veterans and their families.
“Defence and DVA will use the research to further develop targeted programs initiatives that benefit current and former ADF members, veterans and their families, as well as determine future research priorities.”
The study is the most comprehensive undertaken in the country on the "impact of military service on the mental, physical and social health of transitioned and current serving ADF members and their families".
The $6 million project is jointly funded by Defence and DVA, and seven of the eight reports that have been released can be found on their websites.