Computer-based tasks will form the basis of a trial program to assist Australian Defence Force personnel as they transition from military to civilian life, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said yesterday.
FILE PHOTO: No. 462 Squadron cyberspace security specialists conduct information-assurance activities on deployed mission systems at the main air operating base in the Middle East Region. Photo by Corporal Brenton Kwaterski.
“The Stepping Out: Attention Reset (SOAR) trial is designed to test whether a brief attention-training computer task improves adjustment to civilian life and may reduce the risk for mental health disorders,” Mr Chester said.
“Open Arms—Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) and Phoenix Australia are partnering with representatives from Tel Aviv University to conduct the research nationally.
“Any current full-time ADF members who are transitioning from service in the next 12 months can participate in the trial.
“Military training teaches you to pay close attention to your environment and the things that could be a potential threat – in many military settings this training is life-saving.
“Once you leave the military, if your attention is not re-balanced to suit a civilian setting, adjustment issues or mental health problems may develop.
“The findings from the study will play an important role in the government’s action on improving veterans’ mental health and is just one of the many programs the government is using to ensure veterans and their families receive the best possible support.”