Military service can contribute to significant change, upheaval and tension in the lives of serving members and their families, and it’s vital that members of the service community have the information and resources to assist with day-to-day management of these stressors.
The Departments of Veterans' Affairs and Defence have joined forces to develop some online tools to help serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force and their families manage stress and improve resilience.
The High Res website is one of those tools and offers a range of resources that assist management of stressful situations and individual responses to them.
Vice Chief of Defence, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, said that case studies have proven the effectiveness of such resources.
“This development demonstrates the joint commitment by Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to deliver continuity of mental health care that commences at recruitment and continues post service,” he said.
The website is a Self Management and Resilience Training or ‘SMART’ toolbox with interactive tools, self-help resources and videos that impart the skills to manage physical reactions, thoughts, emotions and behaviours when stressed or under pressure.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs had previously released a High Res smart phone app which shows users how to ‘test and adjust’ their reactions to achieve optimal performance.
The platform also seeks to increase awareness of the challenges of service life, and help users understand triggers for stress such as training, deployment, transition and readjustment post service.
Families of those who serve can also use the tools as many of the situations that have the potential to cause stress are equally applicable to those who support serving and ex-serving personnel.
Suggested stress management tools are based on the user’s current physical reactions, thoughts, emotions and behaviours and are part of an evidence-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy suite of tools.
Increasing mental fitness is a key aspect of the resource. Goal-setting, resilience-building activities and self-assessment seek to track user progress over time and importantly, it can be tailored to individual user preferences. Users can also access links to immediate help if required.
This website is not designed to replace professional help. There are a range of professional help options such as the ADF All-Hours Support Line on 1800 628 036, and the Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service (VVCS) on 1800 011 046.
The High Res website is available on DVA’s 'At Ease' mental health portal at http://at-ease.dva.gov.au/highres and via Defence’s Fighting Fit Health and Wellbeing Portal on the internet http://www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal.