From: DVA
Sent: Fri 10/10/2014 11:17 AM

NUTRITION THE KEY FOCUS DURING VETERANS' HEALTH WEEK

Veterans across Australia are encouraged to improve their health and wellbeing during Veterans’ Health Week, 13-20 October, by taking part in a week of fun and informative activities centered around improving their nutrition.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said given evidence of increasing rates of obesity and decreasing levels of exercise, we need not only to develop a stronger understanding of the issues surrounding poor nutrition, but also to put an emphasis on the importance of the overall physical and mental health of veterans, their families and friends.

“There are about 160 Veterans’ Health Week activities planned nation-wide, including fresh food markets, health expos, a nutrition-themed family day in Adelaide, and free surfing lessons in New South Wales and Queensland”, Senator Ronaldson said.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs will work closely with ex-service organisations and community groups in encouraging veterans to focus on healthy eating and good nutrition, not only during the week, but longer term as well.”

“Eating well is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing at any age. Healthy eating helps prevent and manage chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, and benefits mental health by increasing self-esteem and motivation.”

Veterans’ Health Week is also an opportunity for strong support networks to be formed. Networks that will not only ensure that healthy eating practices learnt during the week are more sustainable and successful in the long term, but that also provide an opportunity for current serving members to build relationships with the veteran community, allowing them to connect through a common cause.

DVA has a range of programmes in place to promote the health and wellbeing of the veteran community which can help veterans and their families to make informed lifestyle choices. These programmes cover both mental and physical health and can be accessed through the DVA website www.dva.gov.au and also via DVA’s mental health and wellbeing web portal At-Ease www.at-ease.dva.gov.au

To find out more about Veterans’ Health Week, including information on local and Australia wide events, visit the Veterans’ Health Week webpage at www.dva.gov.au/vhw.htm or contact your local Veterans’ Access Network office.

Representatives from DVA are available for interview upon request.

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Jordi Procel 02 6277 7820 or 0448 232 908
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 (international: +61 8 8241 4546)