From: Defence Media Centre
Sent: Thu 10/10/2013 11:34 AM

Australian Defence Force Mental Health Day 2013

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, has used the annual Australian Defence Force (ADF) Mental Health Day to challenge the misconception that seeking help for mental health related issues will limit an ADF member’s future career options.

In a video message to all Defence Force personnel, General Hurley asked people to think about the risks.

“What is the risk to your career and to your long term health if you don’t get help?” General Hurley said.

“Seeking assistance will help you be healthy, and when you’re healthy, you reduce the risk of damaging the things that really matter.”

ADF Mental Health Day is an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their own mental health and for the organisation to evaluate its support and rehabilitation services.

“The ADF is better prepared today to help those who develop mental health concerns than at any time in the past and Mental Health Day is just one component of our continuing commitment to providing the best possible mental healthcare for our people,” General Hurley said.

Defence has undertaken detailed research to determine the impact of operational deployment on the health and wellbeing of service men and women.

“The findings reinforce Defence’s significant investment to improve mental health and rehabilitation services through the mental health reform program and implementation of the ADF mental health strategy,” General Hurley said.

“These studies will inform the way we plan healthcare services for ADF personnel and our veterans into the future.”

Comprehensive physical and mental health care and services are provided to all ADF members throughout their careers, in both the deployed and garrison environments.

“Defence recognises the crucial role that families play in the overall health and well being of ADF personnel and that family members may also experience mental health issues,” General Hurley said.

“To address this, we have a range of services and programs designed specifically to support Defence families, including the Defence Community Organisation and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.”

ADF Mental Health Day coincides with World Mental Health Day.

Throughout October all ADF members will be encouraged to participate in a range of activities which focus on the link between a healthy lifestyle and good mental health.

You can view General David Hurley’s Mental Health Day message at the following link: http://video.defence.gov.au/?mediaId=ddd36e9f-6f07-442a-83a9-d93297fb1991

Imagery is also available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20131679

Media contact:

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999