New national program goes above and beyond to help Australian veterans transition to civilian life
Easing the adjustment to civilian life post military service is at the heart of Go Beyond, a ground-breaking new online program freely available to all ex-serving Australian Defence personnel from today.
A joint venture between RSL Queensland and the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF), Go Beyond is an evidence-informed national program to assist veterans with adjusting to civilian life after service.
Go Beyond was developed from the findings of a six-year Service to Civilian Life study undertaken by GMRF, and forms part of RSL Queensland’s ongoing $14 million commitment to veterans’ mental health initiatives and research.
This study was the first qualitative investigation of its kind undertaken in Australia and one of the largest studies examining military transition in the world.
GMRF Associate Director of Mental Health Research Dr Madeline Romaniuk said Go Beyond demonstrated research in action, translating this scientific knowledge into real world support.
“Previously, no weight was given to the psychology of adjustment and the profound adjustment veterans go through when they separate from Defence.
“This highlighted the very real need to examine the learned and lived experience of veterans to provide them and their families with the support needed to navigate the unique challenges of transition,” Dr Romaniuk said.
Through this research GMRF identified five key domains of transition:
- Purpose and connection
- Beliefs about civilians
- Resentment and regrets
Today, all Australian veterans can access the free Go Beyond program after completing the M-CARM (Military-Civilian Adjustment and Reintegration Measure) survey, an evidence based, online self-administered questionnaire that quickly and accurately gauges how users are adjusting to civilian life.
Users are then issued with a personalised needs assessment profile that forms the basis of their tailored Go Beyond online training program.
Previously published research from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs study, Transition to Wellbeing¹, found almost half of all veterans who transitioned to civilian life had a diagnosable mental health condition within the first five years of leaving service.
RSL Queensland General Manager Veteran Services Robert Skoda said we must do more to reduce this alarming statistic.
“Our goal is to support all Australian Defence personnel with research informed services including tools and resources to support a healthy transition to civilian life.
“Go Beyond connects veterans with interactive online educative modules that will explain the factors that are impeding their adjustment experience.
“The modules incorporate practical exercises and resources to permit the veteran to move forward in their transition from service,” Mr Skoda said.
Miriam Dwyer, CEO GMRF says “We are very proud of this research and its contribution to the improved transitions of military personnel and we are grateful for the support we have received from the veteran community and our partner RSL Queensland, as well as Mates4Mates and Open Arms that assisted with the pilot program. We look forward to the positive impact this program will have.”
For more information about Go Beyond, visit gobeyond.org.au
In partnership with
¹ Van Hooff M, Forbes D, Lawrence-Wood E, Hodson S, Sadler N, Benassi H, et al. Mental health prevalence and pathways to care summary report. Canberra: The Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs; 2018.