Home' Air Force News : November 24th 2011 Contents 10
November 24, 2011
During the transition from military to civilian life you,
your family or colleagues may struggle to cope with
some of the many challenges that arise.
The Wellbeing Toolbox can help you in six key areas:
Need a little help?
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SENIOR Defence chiefs have identi-
fied seven priority actions for the care
of ADF mental health.
Defence, Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon launched
the new ADF Mental Health and
Wellbeing Strategy on October 21.
The new strategy addresses seven
immediate priority areas in the 2012-
2015 Mental Health Action Plan to be
delivered early next year in consulta-
tion with the single services and key
a communications strategy to
address stigma and barriers to care;
enhanced service delivery;
development of e-mental health
upskilling health providers;
improving pathways to care;
strengthening the mental health
screening continuum; and
developing a comprehensive peer
CDF GEN David Hurley, who
welcomed the strategy, said there was
still some reluctance among ADF per-
sonnel to seek help for mental illness,
stemming from a fear that having a
mental disorder may affect an indi-
"The ADF is working hard to
change that perception, providing
a range of support to people who are
experiencing mental health disorders,"
GEN Hurley said.
"Importantly, we have changed our
policies and procedures to give us more
flexibility with managing recovery times,
with discharge from the Defence Force
being an option of last resort.
"I am very pleased to see that our
LEADING experts in mental health
have applauded the ADF Mental
Health and Wellbeing Prevalence
Study as world best practice.
The executive director of the
Brain and Mind Research Institute,
Professor Ian Hickie, said the
study would set the national stand-
ard for mental health reform.
"Where they have really
emphasised prevention, early inter-
vention, use of e-health strategies,
easy access to care, peer and fam-
ily support and most importantly
collective action, they are world
leading." Professor Hickie said.
It is also a positive sign for
Defence personnel involved with
the ground-breaking study.
NEW FOCUS: The ADF Mental Health Strategy now treats mental fitness with equal importance as physi-
Main photo: CPL Aaron Curran
around the country will soon
be able to acquire one of the
ADF's former UH-1 Iroquois
helicopters for static display.
Under a Request for Offer
(RFO) released by Defence
Materiel Minister Jason Clare,
six Iroquois -- affectionately
known as Hueys -- have been
reserved for sale to historical
Priority will be given to
organisations that have strong
historic connections with
the aircraft. The helicopters
entered service in the RAAF
in October 1962 and were
withdrawn from service in
The versatile choppers
gained much fame during the
Vietnam War as well as on
other peacekeeping, humani-
tarian aid, search and rescue
and other missions, including
aerial survey and mapping
operations in Australia and
The helicopters will need to
be demilitarised at a cost of up
to $10,000 each.
Hueys earmarked for display MOmentous effort
THE hairy upper lips of Air Force's
'Mo Bros' continue to grow this
month, as does the tally, for fund-
The annual men's health initia-
tive raises money and awareness
for prostate cancer prevention.
At the time of going to print, Air
Force teams had raised more than
$33,000 for charities beyondblue
and the Prostate Cancer Foundation
of Australia. The final tally will be
counted after top lips are shaved
from December 1.
To follow Air Force's progress, visit
ADF members can access
mental health care by talking to
their CO or supervisor, present-
ing to the health facility on their
base or contacting their Mental
Health and Psychology Section.
24-hour assistance is available
on the All Hours Support Line
on 1800 628 036 which offers
24/7 access to crisis counsel-
ling and referral for treatment
comprehensive operational mental
health support programs are working,
ensuring better outcomes for ADF
personnel and their families."
The new strategy is based on the
findings of the 2010 ADF Mental
Health Prevalence and Wellbeing
Mr Snowdon said the study
had shaped the blueprint for
managing the mental fitness of
"This type of study to vali-
date the prevalence of mental
health disorders in a defence
population is a world-first," Mr
The study confirms that
mental disorder is as common
in the ADF as in the wider
Australian community, with
about half of ADF member
experiencing a mental disorder a
some point in their lifetime.
Anxiety disorders are th
most common mental healt
disorders and of these disorde
post-traumatic stress is highe
than the Australian community.
"What makes ADF people differ-
ent is their exposure to high-risk situ-
ations and as a result there is a high-
er occurrence of PTSD than in the
Australian community, making this an
area where we are concentrating our
efforts," Mr Snowdon said.
The study indicated there was little
difference in the prevalence of mental
health disorders between personnel who
had deployed and those who had not.
"The results of this study will help
the ADF tailor its mental health sup-
port to suit the needs of its serving
men and women," Mr Snowdon said.
The strategy is specifically aimed at
providing a solid foundation for good
health and wellbeing within the ADF
and to ensure services targeting mental
health care are promoted and available.
It will focus on both strengthening
resilience and enabling recovery.
The study is part of a $93 mil-
lion Mental Health Reform Program
designed to improve access to men-
tal health care for servicemen and
women and veterans.
The four-year reform program was
commissioned following recommen-
dations from the 2009 Dunt Review of
mental health care in the ADF.
About half of the ADF workforce
was surveyed as part of the project,
a collaboration between the Centre
for Traumatic Stress Studies at the
University of Adelaide, the Centre for
Military and Veterans' Health, and
Defence's Joint Health Command.
Copies of the study and strategy are
available at www.defence.gov.au/
Priorities set on
Study hailed as world leading
Director General Mental
Health, Psychology and Health
Resources David Morton said the
prevalence study had confirmed
the foundation work established
by the ADF and highlighted areas
for further change.
He said the study highlighted
the need for a partnership between
the member, the ADF, health prac-
titioners and, importantly, the
member's family in developing
"It has also helped us under-
stand that there are some target
spots for us," Mr Morton said.
"Young males with high lev-
els of depression is something
that we didn't really have a clear
appreciation of before the study."
Mr Morton said programs could
now start targeting new strategies
for those areas.
HELP IS AT HAND
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