From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Sat 24/08/2013 8:39 AM

SUICIDE AWARENESS SUPPORT FOR VETERANS NOW ONLINE

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, announced today that a new website, Operation Life Online, has been launched to assist veterans, Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families in learning about suicide prevention.

The website is the latest addition to Operation Life, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (DVA) suicide prevention and mental health resource.

Operation Life Online provides advice and resources for the veteran and defence communities, and is designed to raise awareness of suicide, from recognising warning signs and risk factors to learning ways to help in times of crisis.

Mr Snowdon said that Operation Life Online will offer advice to people in need of immediate assistance, regardless of the time of day or their location.

“It is a tool to build resilience and to provide a direct channel to help when needed,” he said.

Operation Life workshops are also available for people who are concerned about family, friends, mates or others in the veteran community. Attendance is free and people can register through the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).

Tragically, suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 years and women under 34, and current and former serving members of the ADF are not immune from this loss. However, support is available and awareness of suicide risk, could help save a life.

Mr Snowdon reminded the veteran community that free mental health treatment is available for eligible veterans without the need to lodge a DVA compensation claim, they just need to contact DVA on 133 254.

Access to Operation Life Online is via DVA’s At Ease mental health portal www.at-ease.dva.gov.au

Veterans and their families can access 24-hour counselling and support through the VVCS on 1800 011 046. In the event of an emergency, call 000.

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.