DVA Webinars and Podcasts
The Department of Veterans' Affairs has collaborated with the Mental Health Professionals Network to develop a series of free webinars designed to help clinicians better support the mental health needs of veterans. Each webinar will involve a number of Australian and international experts and participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the panellists. Webinars will be scheduled on a quarterly basis, with recordings being made available here 2-3 weeks after the live event.
Topics to be covered in the series include:
- Understanding the Military Experience
- Evidence-based treatments for trauma-related conditions
- Treatments for insomnia and nightmares, with a focus on pain as a risk factor
- Addiction and avoidance
- Assessment and treatment of anger
- Impact of veterans' mental health on families
The first webinar, Understanding the Military Experience: From Warrior to Civilian, took place on Tuesday 16th August 2016. Video of the session can be downloaded here (in mp4 format), while audio is available here. Alternatively, the podcast can be streamed from YouTube here. The following resources are also available:
- Panellist biographies
- Case study - "Tom's Story"
- Further Case Notes - "Tom's Story"
- Presenter Slides
- Self-directed Learning Tool
- Supporting Resources
The second webinar, Responding to and Treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: What Works?, took place on Tuesday 25th October 2016. Video of the session can be downloaded here (with captions) (in mp4 format), while audio is available here. Alternatively, the podcast can be streamed from YouTube here. The following resources are available:
- Panellist biographies
- Vignette - "Rob's Story"
- Presenter slides
- Self-directed learning tool
- Supporting resources
- Frequently asked questions from the webinar
DVA courses and programs
PTSD-Psychological Interventions Program
PTSD – Psychological Interventions Program is a free eLearning program for mental health clinicians. The program helps providers better understand the preferred treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, through a combination of case studies, active learning activities and video demonstrations. The program contains audio and video throughout to demonstrate important points or therapy techniques, self-assessment activities to test the learner knowledge and, references and links throughout so the learner can access relevant research and online resources.
The full program will take 4-6 hours to complete, but users have the ability to tailor their experience, focusing on aspects that they are most interested in. Upon successful completion, users will be able to print a certificate that can be used to claim Professional Development Hours.
New users can access PTSD-Psychological Interventions Program by clicking here and using the registration code 'ext'.
Registered users can access the program here.
Understanding the Military Experience
Understanding the Military Experience is a free eLearning program for mental health clinicians. The 2 hour program helps providers better understand the context in which their veteran patients are presenting and the long-term effects that military service can have on the mental health and wellbeing of veterans of all ages. Understanding the Military Experience demonstrates that it is not only combat exposure that has the potential to affect veterans for the rest of their lives, but that military training and culture continues to shape their behaviour years after they leave the military.
The aim of this program is to assist providers to offer more relevant and effective care for their veteran patients. New users can access Understanding the Military Experience by clicking here and using the registration code 'ext'.
Registered users can access the program here.
Case Formulation assists front line therapists to make better sense of complexity, and design and plan treatment in collaboration with their patient. This eLearning program assists clinicians to identify and focus on the presenting problems that are likely to have the most impact on recovery and help set priorities for treatment. Users will learn about the case formulation approach, and have the opportunity to hear from experts, watch demonstrations of case formulation, and then practice case formulation based on veteran case studies. The program is free and can be used for continuous professional development.
New users can access this training, click here, using the code ext.
Registered users can access the training here.
A veteran mental health eLearning program designed specifically for nurses, nursing support personnel, ex-Service volunteers and other providers who assist veterans and their families in the home. This program has been endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing Australia and offers 10 Continuing Professional Development points.
New users can access vetAWARE, by clicking here and using the registration code 'ext'.
Registered users can access the program here.
This 1-hour eLearning program assists GPs to better understand common veteran mental health conditions, how military service can affect the mental health of serving and ex-serving personnel and referral pathways for DVA clients. The program was developed in partnership with Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and is hosted on the RACGP’s gplearning system. The program is free to RACGP members with a current login. Non-members can purchase an annual subscription to gplearning. Participants will accrue CPD points upon completion. GPs can access gplearning here.
Online training programs
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) training: a 9-hour web-based learning course for CPT with particular focus on the treatment of military and combat-related PTSD.
- From Warzone to Home Front course: US-based webinar series on a range of topics related to veteran mental health, treatments and family experience.
- PTSD 101 online courses: US web-based learning on topics such as assessment, prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy.
- ISTSS continuing education: provides low cost access to webinars and expert training courses related to PTSD and trauma provided by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
- Center for Deployment Psychology: provides introductory level web-based courses relevant to clinicians who treat serving members and veterans. Topics include CPT, prolonged exposure, resilience, PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) training: self-study modules on understanding cognitive and behavioural changes following TBI, and managing related mental health problems.
- NCTSN Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma: provides online courses on a range of topics including psychological first aid, complex trauma and military families with a focus on children, adolescents and families.
- Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD): This evidence-based online learning resource is for people who are working in mental health. The topics include recovery, engagement, assessment, relevant legislation, ethics and managing comorbidity.
- CRUfAD Mental Health depression course: this is only available to health professionals who work for organisations that have subscribed to this fee-based service. It provides information on core mental health management skills.
Practitioner Self-Care and Workplace Wellbeing
Self care and an awareness of burnout and compassion fatigue as occupation-related risks is important for workers in the health care and community support sector. Beyond Blue’s National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students (2013) has identified age, gender, professional experience and stigma concerns as issues to acknowledge, while Safe Work Australia has reported that the health & community services sector is amongst the top 5 industry sectors for mental stress claims. To better manage work stress, compassion fatigue and burnout, one suggested approach is to adopt an “ABC’s of Prevention” model - Awareness, Balance and Connections.
A number of organisations also produce publications that offer practical information and strategies for self care as an essential element of medical professional life.
Resources for self-care and workplace wellbeing
A number of organisations have developed resources that enable self-assessment and management of burnout, and provide practical information and strategies for self-care. Health professionals may also find support and resources through their Employee Assistance Program (if available), their professional college or association.
- The Provider Resilience mobile phone application, produced by the US Department of Defense, gives providers tools to guard against burnout and compassion fatigue.
- The Work Wellbeing Questionnaire, developed by the Black Dog Institute, enables providers to rate their workplace in terms of support and work-life balance.
- The ProQOL Tool is a self-assessment tool for health professionals, specifically focussing on both the negative and positive effects of helping others experiencing suffering and trauma. Sub-scales for compassion satisfaction, burnout and compassion fatigue directly assess these issues for health care providers. The tool can assist individuals to monitor their own levels of distress and progress over time.
- Heads Up is developed by beyondblue and contains a range of resources for managers, staff and businesses to enable positive workplace mental health.
- Workplace Wellbeing Factsheet: Printable factsheet produced by the Black Dog Institute.
- RACGP – Keeping the doctor alive: This low cost guidebook provides all medical practitioners with information and resources on strategies for self care as an essential element of their professional life.
- Tackling Depression at Work: This low cost practical guide for employees and managers is published by Black Dog Books.
- Workplace Online is a resource developed by beyondblue that aims to raise awareness of depression and anxiety in the workplace, and provide practice strategies to support individuals and promote mental health in the workplace.
- Recent research on PTSD diagnosis & treatment: These two University of Melbourne podcasts provide a summary of recent research regarding the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.
- Anxiety and depression: podcasts that include interviews with experts on a range of topics related to anxiety and depression.
- Psychological health & traumatic brain injury: a range of podcasts and videos available from the American Department of Defense affiliated organisation.
- University of California Television: provides videos and podcasts on a range of topics related to PTSD, trauma and mental health with a particular focus on working with veterans.
- Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse: provides evidence-based information and resources related to domestic and family violence.
- Child Family Community Australia- Research Practice and Policy Information Exchange: provides evidence-based information and resources related to child protection, family relationships and strengthening communities.
- National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (US): provides access to information on evidence-based quality measures for physical and psychological conditions.
- Mental health in the workplace refers to the relationship between employee mental health and the workplace. This clearinghouse produced by Beyond Blue contains a range of resources for managers, staff and businesses to enable positive workplace mental health
Clinical guideline portals
- Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines Portal: a library of Australian clinical guidelines for a range of mental health and physical conditions.
- UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance: UK-developed practice guidelines for a range of mental health and physical conditions.
- Phoenix Australia Annual literature reviews: Annual overviews of research, conducted by Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, on topics related to military mental health and traumatic stress such as PTSD prevalence, risk factors and treatment advances. The 2014 literature review is available here.
- Phoenix Australia 2011 Integrated Literature Reviews (PDF) : Developed by Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, this review summarises research from the previous 10 years on specific topics relevant to veterans.
- DVA Evidence Compass: a website whereby research literature is organised, reviewed, synthesised and disseminated on questions of high importance to DVA.
- PILOTS database: Database of over 30,000 trauma-related article citations maintained by the US National Center for PTSD.
- Publications from Phoenix Australia: provides access to citations and abstracts for all Phoenix Australia / ACPMH research publications from 1994 to present.
- Journal of traumatic stress abstracts: provides access to citations and abstracts for all articles published in this journal on trauma-related mental health issues.
- Cochrane review database: systematic reviews that examines and compare interventions for the treatment of psychological and physical conditions.
- Medical Journal of Australia anxiety and depression supplements: provides access to peer-reviewed articles on depression, anxiety and other comorbid conditions.
- Beacon: Provides information for health professionals and consumers on self-management websites and mobile device applications for mental and physical disorders. Programs from around the world are reviewed and rated by a panel of health experts.
- Australia's Health 2014: The 14th biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
- Incidence of Accepted Workers’ Compensation Claims for Mental Stress in Australia: produced by Safe Work Australia in 2013.
Beyond Blue's Doctor's Mental Health Program: A survey of doctors and medical students that attempts to better understand mental health issues associated in that group.
Below is a range of professional bodies that provide their paying members with access to online resources, training opportunities, professional advocacy and professional networks.
- Australian Psychological Society (APS).
- Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
- Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy (AACBT).
- Mental Health Professionals Network (MPHN).
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Other professional organisations
These societies provide their paying members with access to online resources and training opportunities.