GPs working with veterans need to have a good grasp of the experience veterans undergo during and after their deployment. This 1 hour, Category 2 gplearning activity will focus on effective interventions to promote recovery from mental health problems experienced by younger and older veterans. This activity has four sections that will cover the following topics:
The veteran experience – an introduction to the unique aspects of a military career and the experience of a veteran from training through to deployment.
Veteran mental health and related services – information on the common mental, physical and cognitive health issues experienced by veterans of all generations.
Practical strategies to assist veterans with mental health problems – strategies and tools on how to best engage veterans and address common problems when treating veterans.
Helpful veteran-related services – provides a range of resources available to GPs, veterans and their families.
Relevance to General Practice
Over the past decade, members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have been involved in a significant number of operations. The operational deployment of ADF members varies widely – from involvement in overseas wars, to international peacekeeping, Australian border protection and natural disaster relief. For some veterans, exposure to traumatic events and other occupational stressors can contribute to the development of mental health, relationship and family problems.
For a GP, having a good understanding of military and veteran experiences can help to build a positive working relationship with a veteran. Funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, this 1 hour, Category 2 gplearning activity – Working with veterans with mental health problems – focuses on information and practical strategies to assist GPs to effectively engage with veterans and to provide early and effective treatment for mental health and related problems.
- describe key features of the military experience of younger veterans
- describe common mental health and relationship problems, and issues related to transition from military to civilian life as experienced by contemporary veterans
- describe some key mental health issues related to older veterans
- apply practical strategies to engage with and assist veterans with mental health problems, and their families
- recommend helpful veteran-specific services and resources.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Military medicine
- Psychological health
Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health