NEW VETERAN MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES LAUNCHED
8 May 2008

Mental health in the veteran and defence force communities has today received assistance with the launch of a new website and a range of promotion materials. The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Alan Griffin, officially launched At Ease, an initiative designed to raise awareness and improve mental health in the veteran and service community.

"Mental health for our veterans and serving Australian Defence Force members is a high priority for this Government. We want everyone to recognise the importance of mental health and its effect on people's overall health," Mr Griffin said.

"At Ease provides simple and relevant self-help information for veterans and serving members, their families, mates and carers. It encourages them to recognise the signs and take the initiative to maintain and build their mental health and wellbeing".

Mr Griffin said the At Ease theme provided a military link that the veteran and defence force communities could identify with. The new website recognised the value of online information and tools in reaching younger veterans and serving members.

Supporting materials have also been developed for health providers and for staff of the Department of Veterans' Affairs who work with veteran and defence force clients.

In launching At Ease, Mr Griffin acknowledged the pivotal role played in its development by the National Veterans' Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum.

"The support of the ex-service community is critical in helping us to reach veterans and their families and provide them with appropriate support, advocacy and advice," he said.

"The Forum has ensured that veteran mental health has remained high on everyone's agenda. Its members are keen to distribute and publicise these materials and we will be working with them to get the At Ease messages out to the veteran and defence force communities."

At Ease has been developed with the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and endorsed by the National Veterans' Health and Wellbeing Forum, representing Australia's peak ex-service organisations.

The At Ease website can be found at www.at-ease.dva.gov.au.

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Laura Ryan
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