Mental health difficulties following trauma are complex and frequently occur in combination with other mental health conditions. The pathway to appropriate and effectively targeted treatment is via a multidisciplinary assessment, as exists within the VPU.
Treatment is designed to allow individuals to work through their own experience of trauma and any associated mental health conditions at their own pace, in order to understand their experience and, importantly, reduce the level of distress attached to the experience.
A comprehensive range of treatments are provided within a multidisciplinary framework. Treatment may include individual psychological treatment, group treatment, or psychiatric management.
Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment is provided within a range of clinical settings, including:
The VPU team comprises clinical psychologists, psychiatric registrars, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, and Consultant Psychiatrists.
Prior to the initiation of any treatment, a thorough assessment must be undertaken to determine the needs of the individual and how these can best be met. A highly-trained clinician from the Veterans Assessment Team (VAT) will undertake a comprehensive clinical assessment, including any presenting difficulties or problem, as well as detailed personal history.
In addition to this information, and with permission from the individual, partners or immediate family members may be asked to provide information to inform the assessment process. This family inclusive approach has been shown to be highly effective and enhances collaborative approaches to treatment.
In some situations, individuals may not be ready to participate in group treatment programs and, as such, will continue to meet with a clinician individually for treatment and/or to undertake preparatory work for a group program.
The clinician will also administer a number of paper-based assessments to obtain objective measures of functioning, prior to referring the individual to the most appropriate outpatient treatment program.