Addressing the impact of service on our veterans

Every day, thousands of veterans struggle with the physical and psychological toll of their service, years or even decades after they’ve discharged from the military.

For many, issues may start to arise as soon as they begin the transition process back to civilian life. There can be a range of practical matters to address with reintegration; finding work, living arrangements, navigating healthcare and building new relationships. Add to that a huge dose of ‘culture shock’ at being thrust into the civilian system, which can feel completely at odds with military life and it is little wonder so many veterans struggle with the reintegration process.

According to The Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, over 45 per cent of ADF members who left full-time service had experienced a mental health concern in the previous year. This report highlights a number of serious issues regarding transitioning to civilian life for a substantial proportion of the Australian veteran population.

With the support of RSL Queensland, The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation’s Veteran Reintegration Study aims to address this issue with a comprehensive look into the cultural and psychological impact of reintegration.

The first stage of this project was one of the largest qualitative studies on transition globally, with one hundred participants. It  provided invaluable information on the transition process, including common themes amongst a range of experiences and key questions to identify at risk veterans.
The project has now entered Stage 2; the development and trial of an assessment tool to determine ‘readiness’ for civilian life.

Click Here to find out more about the Veteran Reintegration Study.

Partnering with RSL Queensland

Since 2013, RSL Queensland has committed $6.75 million to support our research in to reducing the prevalence and severity of mental health issues, and assist with the transition to civilian life for ADF personnel. Read more about this

PTSD: A battle of mind, body, and spirit

It’s been called ‘combat fatigue’, ‘shell-shock’, the ‘thousand yard stare’; post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has had a lot of names over the years, but not a lot of treatment options.

In 2013, GMRF in partnership with RSL Queensland commenced an ambitious research project to help veterans and their families.

The PTSD Initiative: Vietnam Veteran Study was a world-first study, investigating the physical and psychological toll of PTSD in Vietnam veterans.

This research now published in the prestigious Medical Journal of Australia, found that veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD displayed long-term poor health outcomes including heart disease, gastric complaints and sleep disorders.

Working in partnership with RSL Queensland, we implemented a national education campaign for healthcare professionals. Read more about this

Register now to join our online directory of healthcare professionals able to assist PTSD sufferers and access the latest PSTD research and management information.

You can help progress GMRF’s vital work by making a donation today.

Current projects

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Veteran Reintegration Study: Transition from Service to Civilian Life. Call for Participants.

The purpose of the Veteran Mental Health Initiative is to build a strong foundation of mental health research among the contemporary veteran cohort which will generate evidence to guide developments in procedures and practices to improve the wellbeing of the veteran and ex-serving community. Our flagship...

Mental Health First Aid Training for Families of Australian Veterans

A concerning proportion of Australian veterans experience chronic mental health conditions. These conditions include depressive and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder, and can include extreme psychological distress, aggressive behaviours, or suicidality. These...

Compassionate-Mind Training Study

A substantial body of literature has reported martial conflict and divorce are difficulties faced by many combat veterans and their partners. The presence of these difficulties is often higher among veterans with psychological conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and...

Development of a Biobank

Biobanks are collections of human biological materials (biospecimens) that are linked to relevant de-identified personal and health information and held specifically for use in health and medical research. Their object is to provide a resource for researchers to use to advance our understanding of human...

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