Sent: Thu 29/01/2015 7:54 AM
EASIER ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR VETERANS
The Abbott Government has made it easier for veterans to access mental health support under new arrangements announced today. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson said tackling the mental health challenges for veterans and their families was a key priority in the Abbott Government’s plan for improving services for Australia’s service men and women.
“Currently, veterans and eligible current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are able to access treatment for psychiatrically-diagnosed PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders, whatever the cause.”
“Under these arrangements, known as non-liability health care, there does not have to be any link between the mental health condition and military service for the individual to access these services.”
“I am pleased to announce that under the new arrangements, veterans and eligible current and former members of the ADF who are diagnosed with these conditions by vocationally registered general practitioners and clinical psychologists will also be able to access these non-liability health care arrangements.”
“By extending access to non-liability health care to those who are diagnosed by a GP or psychologist we can make sure people are given access to these services as quickly as possible. Early treatment is vitally important in addressing conditions such as these,” Senator Ronaldson said.
Senator Ronaldson said the extension of the non-liability health care built on the Abbott Government’s strong record in providing better services to Australia’s veterans.
“The Government also previously expanded these services to include treatment for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder and made changes to allow a greater number of people with peacetime service to be eligible for these treatments.”
“The key to good mental health is to take action early and I encourage all veterans and veterans’ representatives to familiarise themselves with the revised arrangements and when required, to seek help that is available,” Senator Ronaldson said.
A psychiatrist's diagnosis is still required for compensation claims relating to mental-health conditions.
For any further information on mental health support for veterans and their families, contact DVA or visit the At Ease website at http://at-ease.dva.gov.au
Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
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)