The Bolton Clarke Group, including Altura Learning and The Bolton Clarke Research Institute present


This series of videos aims to inform and educate current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and importantly families and friends, about mental health. These videos cover post-traumatic mental health, avenues to treatment, and how to best support yourself and your loved one. The videos are designed to break down the stigma around seeking help, and include input from veterans, families, and experts in the field.

Trailer 1

Veterans and their families share personal stories in this confronting but hopeful educational video series. The Veteran Family Toolkit explores mental health conditions experienced by returned service people, with an emphasis on PTSD. The aim is to let all Veterans and their families know that they are not alone and help is available.


The Veterans Family Toolkit

Bolton Clarke Chairman, Pat McIntosh AM CSC, explains the origins and purpose of the Veteran Family Toolkit. He explains there are pathways to treatment for veterans, first responders and families living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


The video series emanated from a research project conducted by the Bolton Clarke Research Institute. The team aimed to explore the experience of veterans and their families, and identify gaps in health and social care for current and ex-serving ADF members and their families. Through focus groups and interviews*, a number of key areas of interest were apparent, including :

  • the difficulties faced during transition out of the Defence Force
  • mental health needs across different groups of veterans
  • challenges faced in seeking help for mental health conditions
  • impact of service and mental health conditions on family members, and
  • the need to support partners, children and parents, of veterans.

 *held in Townsville and Brisbane with 88 current and ex-serving ADF members, their families, and members of ex-service organisations,

The main gap identified concerns the support and services provided to families of serving and ex-serving members of the ADF. Family members expressed feeling excluded, left behind, and ignored, with services and support provided primarily at crisis point, if at all. These findings provided the impetus to create the Veteran Family Toolkit as an avenue for trusted information about mental health, and to provide hope that recovery is possible.

Episodes :

Episode 1 : The Veteran Perspective
Episode 2: What is Mental Health?
Episode 3: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Episode 4: The Family Perspective
Episode 5:  Getting Help & PTSD Treatments

Episode 1


What is it like to be a Veteran who has experienced mental health issues? This video explores the personal stories of Veterans Phil Thompson, Andy Cullen, Gary Stone and Michael Stone, encompassing their experiences of deployment, returning to the civilian world and living with PTSD.

With an overall message of hope, each of these Veterans offer a unique insight into life after the military.

Episode 2

What is Mental Health?

Ex-service people and their families can face a range of mental health challenges, but good mental health is about more than just the absence of mental illness. This video features interviews with experts in the field of Veteran mental health, including Dr Andrew Khoo and Professor David Forbes, who provide commentary on the key contributing factors and symptoms Veterans may experience when it comes to mental illness.

Episode 3


We treat physical injury, so why not psychological injury? This video demonstrates that the brain undergoes significant changes with PTSD, so it is a very real and very treatable condition. Professor Jim Lagopoulos reveals that although we still have much to learn about PTSD, it is as real as any physical injury. It shouldn’t be ignored and it can be managed.

Episode 4


What is it like to be a family member of a Veteran who is experiencing mental health issues? What are some of the things to look out for, and what can you do to help? Family members of Veterans share their emotional stories about facing PTSD, highlighting the importance of seeking support.

Episode 5

gETTING HELP & PTSD Treatments

We seek help to negotiate new things, things we aren’t trained for, things we can’t fix on our own, so why not seek help for PTSD? The key messages in this video are about hope, getting help and having a good life beyond PTSD. The Veterans and medical professionals featured in this video aim to reduce the fear and stigma around seeking treatment for PTSD, by speaking about the importance of taking a holistic approach to treatment, through therapy, medication and peer support.