From: DVA
Date: Thu 15/09/2016 6:06 PM

Government response to Senate Inquiry Report on Mental Health of ADF members and veterans

The Minister for Veteransí Affairs, Dan Tehan, said the Government would increase mental health support for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and veterans.

The Government Response to the Senate Inquiry Report on the mental health of ADF members and veterans was tabled in the Senate today.

"The Senate Inquiry Reportís recommendations emphasise the importance of accessing help early which is consistent with the Governmentís approach to supporting our ADF and veterans," Mr Tehan said.

"The Government is getting on with the job of ensuring ADF members and veterans who face mental health challenges can access the mental health services they require.

"Since July 1 this year the Government has made free mental health treatment available to all current and former permanent members of the ADF for a range of conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and alcohol and substance use disorders.

"The Government has committed $6 million to establish a Phoenix Australia institute for world-leading experts and research to improve mental health treatment and reduce the burden of post-traumatic stress among our veterans.

"We have announced an additional $3.1 million to further extend access to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.

"There is additional support available now to ADF members, veterans and families, and I encourage anyone who has concerns about their mental health or the mental health of someone they know to ask for help."

Mr Tehan said the Government had also engaged the National Mental Health Commission to analyse the effectiveness of suicide and self-harm prevention services provided by Defence and DVA.

The Government Response to the Senate Inquiry Report can be found at:

Enquiries: Minister Tehanís Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veteransí 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)
VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.