On September 1st 2017, the Movember Foundation announced Soldier On’s Vet Connect as one of 13 projects to receive pilot funding as part of the Social Innovators Challenge. Movember’s Challenge is a $5.6M AUD phased multi-year investment in men’s mental health projects aimed at strengthening social connections for boys and men across Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The goal of the initiative is to increase understanding about what works for helping men form strong, lasting and meaningful relationships which are needed for when things get tough.
Soldier On, and the Vet Connect program, was selected for its work in bringing together male veterans and breaking the social isolation that can occur for some post-discharge. This innovative program aims to disrupt the isolation by providing a series of residential weekends for men to come together in a comfortable and inclusive environment, providing opportunities for social connection, developing new skills and working toward goals for the future.
“Research conducted by Soldier On highlighted the strong desire of male veterans to “rebuild the brotherhood” that had become a way of life when they were serving in the military. Vet Connect is a focussed and holistic program that gives these men that opportunity, by coming together with others who have shared experiences, develop strengths and learn new skills, as well as being able to give back and help others.” – Shane Greentree, Soldier On Psychology Services DirectorSoldier On looks forward to working with the Movember Foundation during this process to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives.
The program comprises of 3 weekend workshops held over 6 months with a small group format. The weekends involve group sessions, outdoor activities, great food, footy matches and more. Vet Connect applications are open nationally and we welcome all ex-serving Australian Defence Force and National Security Agency personnel to apply.