Reservists have played an important part in Australian history since early colonial days. There are around 45,000 Australian Reservists, both in service and on stand-by, making up 45 percent of the total Defence Force.
Reservists often provide critical skills to a unit, augmenting the skills of the permanent defence force. These individuals tend to join a unit for a specific operation or deployment rather than work with a unit on a full time basis. This can reduce the immediate peer support available and can make the transition to in-theatre operations, and back to civilian life, more challenging.
Free and confidential VVCS services are available to reservists with operational service, such as involvement in peacekeeping, disaster relief or border protection operations
The mental health concerns that peacekeepers commonly experience include:
- Challenges transitioning back to civilian life between deployments
- Difficulties with relationships, including social exclusion
- Problems with anger control
- Depression and anxiety
- Diagnosed PTSD.