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August 29, 2013
CPL Nick Wiseman
TWO health studies focusing on the
health impacts of operational deploy-
ments were released by CDF GEN
David Hurley on August 8.
GEN Hurley said the results of the
studies showed that ADF members
who deployed to the MEAO were gen-
erally physically and mentally healthy.
"Our personnel are ordinary
Australians who are asked to deal with
extraordinary events but not everyone
who has deployed will experience
trauma," GEN Hurley said.
"These studies show that most peo-
ple will not develop mental health con-
cerns but we are better prepared today
to help those who do."
More than 14,000 veterans took
part in the MEAO Census Health
Study, which collected data from ADF
personnel who deployed between 2001
to 2009 and included information such
as their deployment history, health
survey and deployment experiences
A further 1325 veterans took part
in the MEAO Prospective Health
Study, which examined the health of
ADF personnel before deployment
and after returning home from the
MEAO between June 2010 and June
2012. This study sought to examine
the onset of health concerns related to
Commander Joint Health RADM
AIR Force supervisors of Australian
Public Service (APS) personnel are
reminded to take into consideration the
recently revised APS Values and new
APS Employment Principles when writ-
ing this year's Performance Feedback
Assessment and Development Scheme
The new employment principles and
values came into effect on July 1 and can
be remembered easily by the I CARE
Impartial -- The APS is apolitical
and provides the government with
advice that is frank, honest, timely
and based on the best available evi-
Committed to Service -- The APS
is professional, objective, innovative
and efficient, and works collabora-
tively to achieve the best results for
the community and government.
Accountable -- The APS is open
and accountable to the Australian
community under the law and
within the framework of ministerial
Respectful -- The APS respects all
people, including their rights and
Ethical -- The APS demonstrates
leadership, is trustworthy, and acts
with integrity, in all that it does.
First-level and second-level super-
visors are to conduct performance
exchanges with each of their APS
employees by August 31 and record the
decision on PMKeyS Self Service no
later than September 20.
For further information, visit the
PeopleConnect site at http://intranet.defence.
gov.au/peopleconnect and read DEFGRAMs
355/2013 and 412/2013.
Robyn Walker said the study provided
a comprehensive and robust account
of the health of ADF personnel who
deployed to the MEAO.
"The studies highlight that not all
deployed personnel will be exposed to
trauma and most of those will not go
on to develop mental health disorders,"
RADM Walker said.
"However, ADF members repeat-
edly exposed to traumatic experiences
either at home or on deployment are
with an alcohol disorder and 1.6 per
cent reported suicidal ideation."
RADM Walker said the census
study confirmed that the prevalence
of PTSD symptoms was much higher
in ex-service members and those who
had been medically discharged as most
"The results reiterate what we have
long recognised, that separation and
military commitments do have an
impact on ADF families," she said.
"But a range of support options are
still available to those families."
Both studies were voluntary and
part of the Military Health Outcomes
Program (MilHOP), which com-
menced in 2010 to determine the
impact of operational deployment on
the health and wellbeing of members
of the ADF.
GEN Hurley said the health and
wellbeing of Australia's military per-
sonnel was a priority.
"These studies will further inform
policy and targeted health programs
designed to support ADF members and
their families," he said.
"Defence and the Department of
Veterans' Affairs will continue to seek
opportunities to improve and evolve
our support systems."
Copies of the studies are available at
Heed revised APS values
Health studies released
more likely to develop mental health
According to the Black Dog
Institute, one in five of all Australians
aged between 16 and 85 experience
a mental illness in any year with
the most common being depressive,
anxiety and substance-use disorders.
The 2007 National Survey of Mental
Health and Wellbeing found 6.4 per
cent of Australians aged 16-85 were
suffering post-traumatic stress disorder
The MEAO Prospective Health
Study found 0.1 per cent of partici-
pants at pre-deployment and 1.9 per
cent at post-deployment reported
said the results of
the studies revealed
responses that com-
with similar studies
study found that,
4.8 per cent of the participants report-
ed symptoms consistent with psycho-
logical distress," she said.
"Of the respondees, 1.9 per cent
reported symptoms consistent with
PTSD, 2.5 per cent reported symptoms
MEAO FOCUS: CDF GEN David Hurley
and Commander Joint Health RADM Robyn
Walker announce the MilHOP findings. Inset,
a C-130J lands at Multinational Base Tarin
Inset photo: LS Andrew Dakin
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