Australia visit sees KCMHR partner with Phoenix Australia

Researchers from the King’s Centre of Military Health Resear ch (KCMHR) at King’s College London and Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne have begun a new partnership on military health and well-being.

Representatives from KCMHR officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Phoenix Australia which will develop the research partnership between the two institutions.

Professor Nicola Fear , Co-Director of KCMHR and Dr Marie-Louise Sharp , Senior Research Associate at KCMHR have been supported by a grant from the King’s Worldwide Partnership Fund to solidify the relationship through workshops held at Phoenix on October 10th and 11th.

Professor Nicola Fear said: ‘We are extremely excited to begin our formal relationship with Phoenix Australia at the University of Melbourne. We believe we will be able to extend the impact of our work at King’s and in the UK through our collaboration. This research will have important benefits for the military community and other occupational groups, such as the emergency services, that both our research groups work with. We are proud to represent King’s and the United Kingdom throughout our Australia trip and thank the King’s Global Engagement team for their support.’

Professor David Forbes, Director of Phoenix Australia, said: ‘During our two-day workshop we have been struck by the close alignment between our two centres with respect to the work that we do to advance understanding and improve outcomes for military and veteran populations as well as emergency service personnel. We are very excited to be entering this formal Memorandum of Understanding with KCMHR and working more closely together can only enhance the work of both organisations.’

KCMHR is the leading civilian UK centre of excellence for military health research and has recently published new results from its flagship cohort study which since 2003 has followed the mental health of members of the UK Armed Forces who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Phoenix Australia specialises in advancing the knowledge of trauma and post-traumatic mental health including research into the health of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), recently being involved in a multi-centre project assessing the prevalence of mental health problems and Pathways to Care for the ADF.

The Australia trip also sees KCMHR researchers presenting at the Australasian Military Medicine Conference in Canberra and taking part in research events around the Invictus Games, such as the Warrior Care Symposium, the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs - Families and Invictus Forums and finally at the Five Eyes, Centres of Excellence Conference in Sydney.

The Centres of Excellence program will bring together ministers and academics from allied countries to share evidence and extend collaboration on the topics of suicide, engagement and pathways to care, and interventions for mental health and well-being in the Armed Forces.