How can I get involved?
The MHPE program is open to any male or female member of the veteran and ex-service community, who is able to volunteer their time and has a genuine interest in helping veterans to learn about healthy lifestyle choices. Non-veterans are welcome to join as volunteers if they have an understanding of the unique health issues faced by current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and are actively involved with veterans and the veteran community. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) MHPE Coordinators are represented in each State and Territory and are available to provide information about the program to those interested in becoming a volunteer. They can also advise prospective volunteers about upcoming training courses.
What does the training involve?
The MHPE volunteer training course is held over a three day period. The training aims to equip volunteers with fundamental health knowledge, awareness and skills to allow them to interact with peers in order to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviours.
The health topics are grouped into three modules:
- Choose Health, Be Active
- Eat Well, Eat Smart
- Social Participation
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Cancer and its prevention
- Living with chronic illness or chronic pain
- Mental Health and mental illness: Put your mind at ease
- Alcohol and other drugs: The Right Mix
- Talking with your doctor (and other health professionals)
Volunteer training also includes a range of skills and awareness sessions covering:
- Things to consider when working with people
- How to find resources in your community
- Looking after your health and wellbeing
- Stages of Change
MHPE volunteers receive a Volunteer Resource manual to assist them in their role.
Training: Travel and out-of-pocket expenses
DVA will arrange and pay for approved travel and accommodation expenses for participants attending MHPE volunteer training and for volunteers attending recall training. Eligible persons journeying overnight will receive a travel allowance to cover the cost of meals and incidentals. If a request to travel by private car has been approved, a motor vehicle allowance will be paid. All allowances are paid after the completion of training. Reimbursement of expenses incurred to attend training, such as parking and e-toll charges need prior approval from DVA.
Other opportunities to learn more about MHPE
If you’re not sure that you want to train as a MHPE volunteer and would like further information, there are several things you can do.
Prior to attending MHPE initial training, a person interested in becoming a MHPE volunteer may want to consider the role of MHPE volunteer-in-training.
MHPE Recall Days
Recall days are held at least once a year as part of ongoing training and support for MHPE volunteers. Recall days provide MHPE volunteers with the opportunity to refresh their knowledge on health issues, be brought up-to-date on MHPE administrative matters and network with other MHPE volunteers in their area.
You can attend a MHPE Recall Day as an observer. You will need to contact the MHPE Coordinator for your State/Territory to discuss your attendance. Observers are not covered by DVA insurance and must pay their own travel expenses.
Talk to a MHPE volunteer or the MHPE Coordinator for your State/Territory
We have MHPE volunteers in every State and Territory. DVA can arrange for you to talk to a MHPE volunteer regarding their role and experiences with the program.