Our vision for an accessible, coordinated mental health system for Veterans and their Families.

Atlas Institute and Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health collaborated to develop a conceptual framework – one that creates the best mental health system for Veterans and their Families.

It all started with a question – how do we best support Veterans and their Families?

A successful framework requires the involvement and support of all stakeholders: Veterans, Veteran Family Members, service providers, researchers, governments, community partners and others. Picture a detailed blueprint or recipe – they contain the crucial tools, steps and methods you need to achieve your end goal. This is a conceptual framework.

A conceptual framework outlines and draws connections between facts and ideas to promote action. It pulls together a large amount of information and builds one coherent structure.

A conceptual framework to guide the implementation of best and next practice in services and supports for Veterans and their families

Conceptual Framework: Executive Summary

The Conceptual Framework to Guide the Implementation of Best and Next Practice in Services and Supports for Veterans and their Families – A plain-language synopsis

A transformed mental health system for Veterans and their families: brief implementation guide

Why it matters

The framework envisions a new system of mental health services and supports for Veterans and their Families. This vision is our guiding light as we work to achieve our goal. The framework provides a sense of where our work is going and how we plan to get there – together.

What’s inside

The framework is organized into three main sections: the why, the what and the how of our vision. Why we need our framework. What our framework will do. How our framework enacts our vision.

The sections contain:

  • Definitions of post-traumatic mental health in Veterans and their Families
  • Facts and statistics on mental well-being of Veterans and their Families after living through trauma
  • A summary of an ideal system of services and supports
  • An overview of different types of services

An outline of the key tools and strategies needed to implement our vision.


Veterans and Veteran Families have unique and diverse experiences and needs when it comes to mental health services and supports. There are various challenges and gaps in the current system that are causing inefficiencies. This needs to change.

Built on seven key principles, our framework advocates for the development of a new system of services and supports – one that prioritizes the needs and voices of Veterans and Veteran Families. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, our aim is to meet Veterans and Veteran Families on their terms, offering the right care at the right time.

Implementing this new system of services and supports is no easy task. It requires collaboration with Veterans, Veteran Family Members, service providers, researchers and others. Vital components of our approach include research, knowledge mobilization, stakeholder engagement and implementation.

Together, these components allow us to create and share knowledge about how best to support Veterans and Veteran Families and how integrate that knowledge into practice. It allows us to go forward into a future where Veterans and their Family members are never alone or misunderstood.

Key terms

Research: Gathering data and facts to better understand questions and quandaries.

Knowledge Mobilization: Making information accessible to and usable by those who want it.

Stakeholder Engagement: Building meaningful relationships with individuals, groups and organizations who support Veterans and their Families.

Implementation: Bringing evidence-based practice into the real world.

Additional resources

Our full Conceptual Framework and executive summary are available above. Additional resources about the conceptual framework include:

  • A plain language version of our framework: We put together a version of the framework using everyday language.
  • Our guide for intermediary organizations: This resource is for organizations like ourselves who want to support Veterans and their Families. We recommend reading it alongside the conceptual framework.