Date: Fri 3/02/2017 9:26 AM
Senate Inquiry into Suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Secretary Simon Lewis PSM today reminded members of the veteran and Defence communities that support is available for anyone who may be disturbed by the Senate Inquiry into Suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel public hearings.
"DVA can pay for treatment for five mental health conditions – post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and alcohol and substance misuse – for anyone who has served at least one day in the full-time Australian Defence Force (ADF)," Mr Lewis said.
"This is irrespective of when or where they served or the type of service, and the condition does not have to be service-related.
"Accessing treatment is fast and simple – just call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254, for regional callers, or email firstname.lastname@example.org."
Mr Lewis encouraged members of the veteran and Defence communities who may be upset by the public hearings, including witnesses and those who observe the hearings in person or through media reporting, to contact the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) for support.
"VVCS provides specialised mental health services to around 27,000 current and former ADF members and their families each year. "Services include face-to-face and telephone counselling for individuals and families through VVCS centres around Australia and a strong network of outreach counsellors in regional and rural areas.
"Clinicians also work with couples and families on relationship issues that arise from the unique demands of military life, and run a range of group programs, including free suicide prevention workshops for members of the veteran community," he said
VVCS is free and confidential and available 24/7 on 1800 011 046. For more information, visit the VVCS website or follow VVCS on Facebook.
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)
VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.