From: DVA
Sent: Mon 24/11/2014 11:14 AM

EXPANDING ACCESS TO VETERAN MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN SYDNEY

In a continued effort to ensure members of the veteran community and their families have simplified access to mental health support, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson today announced that the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) will be expanding its footprint in the Sydney region.

From early next year, VVCS counsellors will be accessible at five locations across Sydney. The main centre will be relocated to Centennial Plaza in Sydney, ensuring it is easily accessible from across the city.

The VVCS will maintain a presence in Parramatta in a new office where counsellors will continue to support the local veteran community. This will complement the successful satellite centre that has been supporting veterans in Liverpool since early 2013. Additionally, VVCS will initiate a six month trial of new satellite centres in Manly and Sutherland to determine the level of need for VVCS centre based services in these locations.

All locations will be staffed by experienced VVCS counsellors who have an understanding of military culture and can help to address concerns such as relationship and family issues, anxiety, depression, anger, sleep difficulties, posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol or substance misuse, with the aim of finding effective solutions for improved mental health and wellbeing.

Consultation was undertaken with the local ex-service community to determine the most appropriate locations for VVCS centres into the future.

VVCS is at the frontline of mental health and wellbeing support for veterans and their families, so it is essential that face to face services are accessible and located near veterans and their families in need.

These additional centres will ensure a more effective service to VVCS clients across the Sydney region. VVCS will continue to have a strong presence throughout greater Sydney and will maintain its strong network of outreach providers as well as centre staff to ensure the community has access to VVCS support when, and where they need it.

The date for the commencement of the changes has not yet been finalised. Local clients and stakeholders will be advised by VVCS when the new arrangements are in place.

VVCS counsellors are available 24/7 by phoning 1800 011 046. To learn more or to check eligibility, visit www.vvcs.gov.au .

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Jordi Procel 02 6277 7820 or 0448 232 908
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203