Veterans mental health program receives grant

Monday, 14 November 2016


University of Newcastle (UON) researchers from the Centre for Resources Health and Safety (CRHS) have been successful in receiving a grant from the Defence Health Foundation to the value of $123,068 over two years.

Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin, Associate Professor Carole James and Dr Jane Rich, along with Dr John Shephard from Aspen Medical, will construct an internet-delivered, evidenced-based treatment program for mental health and alcohol use in contemporary Veterans.

The project will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of an online therapy (Self Help for Alcohol and Depression - SHADE) for the treatment of mood, alcohol, and other substance use concerns in contemporary Veterans of the Australian Defence Force.

This project will partner with the Ex-Servicemen Organisation’s and community to promote the uptake of the SHADE online treatment program to ‘at risk’ groups of contemporary Veterans (aged 45 years and younger).

The most common mental health concerns are depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance use, and suicide, with comorbidity between conditions common.

Despite a need for treatment and significant investment in providing treatment to ex-serving ADF personnel, fewer than one-third access treatment.

This is even lower among younger veterans (45 years and younger), who often leave active service with undiagnosed mental health problems.

The CRHS was established in partnership with Aspen Medical at the UON in an Agreement formed in 2014.

The CRHS  draws on the multidisciplinary  expertise of  University researchers spanning disciplines including   workplace health and safety, psychology, psychiatry,  environmental  and  life  sciences,  humanities and social sciences, nursing and respiratory studies; to meet sector demand in these areas and facilitate industry and government collaborations for the benefit of communities in resource intensive regions.

Professor Brian Kelly was appointed as the Aspen Medical Chair in 2014. Aspen Medical is an Australian-owned global provider of innovative healthcare solutions across a diverse range of clients including defence, mining, oil and gas, government and humanitarian sectors.