Technology-Enabled Mental Health Service Reform for Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling: Participatory Design Study

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The impact of mental ill-health on every aspect of the lives of a large number of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, their partners, and their families is widely recognized.

Recent Senate inquiries have highlighted gaps in service delivery as well as the need for service reform to ensure appropriate care options for individuals who are currently engaged with mental health and support services as well as for those who, for a variety of reasons, have not sought help.

To that end, successive Australian governments generally and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs specifically have prioritised veteran-centric reform. Open Arms is an Australia-wide service that provides counseling and support to current and former ADF personnel, and their family members, for mental health conditions.

The aim of this study was to develop and configure a prototypic Web-based platform for Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service) with the Open Arms community to enhance the quality of mental health services provided by Open Arms.

Alex Wain