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Transition & Wellbeing Research Programme

The Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme heralds a new and exciting opportunity to enter into a new shared research agenda with Defence and to close the gap of research evidence in the transition period between Defence and DVA.

As the largest and most comprehensive study undertaken in Australia, it examines the impact of contemporary military service on the mental, physical and social health of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families, and builds on previous Defence research such as the Military Health Outcomes Program. Further information is available on the Military Health Outcomes Program (MilHOP)

The programme is made up of three major studies:

  1. Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition Study
  2. Impact of Combat Study
  3. Family Wellbeing Study

Altogether, the programme provides a picture of mental disorders in the initial years after transition from full time service. It also investigates how individuals previously diagnosed with a mental disorder access care; how mental health issues change over time; the mental health status of reservists and examines the experiences and needs of families of serving and ex-serving personnel.

By understanding the impact of military service, deployment experiences and the associated health outcomes of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families, DVA and Defence can develop more effective policies and programs which better suit the needs of contemporary veterans.

DVA's Young Veterans - Contemporary Needs Forum will act as the Consultative Forum for the programme.

Further information is available on the following

Investigators:

The Transition and Wellbeing Programme brings together internationally renowned researchers including Dr Miranda Van Hooff , Prof Alexander McFarlane and Dr Ellie Lawrence-Wood from the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at The University of Adelaide (CTSS); Dr Stephanie Hodson from Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA); COL Nicole Sadler and Ms Helen Benassi from the Department of Defence; Prof David Forbes from the Australian Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health (ACPMH); Prof Richard Bryant from the University of New South Wales; Prof Helen Kelsall, Prof Malcolm Sim and Prof Jeffrey Rosenfeld from Monash University; Dr Walter Forrest, Dr Jacqui Harvey and Dr Benjamin Edwards from the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) ; and A/Prof Jane Burns from Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

Scientific Advisory Committee

This large collaborative research effort is overseen by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) made up of esteemed members with a specific interest in Defence and veteran mental health. The members include:

  •  Principal Medical Adviser, Department of Veterans’ Affairs (Joint Chair) - Dr Ian Gardner
  • Surgeon General Australian Defence Force Reserves, Department of Defence (Joint Chair) - RADM Jenny Firman,
  • Commissioner, National Mental Health Commission and Member of the Veteran Mental Health Clinical Reference Group and ADF Mental Health Advisory Group - Professor Ian Hickie
  • Director of the Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit and Member of the Veteran Mental Health Clinical Reference Group and the VVCS National Advisory Committee - Professor Malcolm Battersby
  • Director-General, Navy Health Reserves, Department of Defence - CDRE Duncan Wallace RANR
  • General Manager, Population and Social Statistics Division, Australian Bureau of Statistics - Dr Paul Jelfs
  • Director, National Institute of Mental Health Research, Australian National University - Professor Kathy Griffiths
  • Head, Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Australian National University Medical School - Professor Beverley Raphael
  • ARC Future Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University - Associate Professor Lyndall Strazdins   
The Transition and Wellbeing Program Launch, 11 June 2014 at the University of Adelaide.

The Transition and Wellbeing Program Launch, 11 June 2014 at the University of Adelaide.
From Left to Right (Back Row): Ian Gardner (SAC); Justin Beilby (Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences UA); Hon Michael Ronaldson (Minister); Richard Bryant (investigator); Malcolm Sim (Investigator)
Front Row: Malcolm Battersby (SAC); Alan Hayes (AIFS), David Forbes (Investigator), Miranda Van Hooff (Investigator), Stephanie Hodson (Investigator), Helen Kelsall (Investigator), Ellie Lawrence-Wood (Investigator),

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