After Hours Crisis Counselling for Veterans - Tuesday 24 October 2006

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An Australian company with more than 40 years' experience in telephone counselling services has won a $844,000 contract to deliver after hours' crisis counselling, referral and support to veterans, their families and current serving ADF members for the next three years, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Bruce Billson today announced.

Crisis Support Services, a not-for-profit provider of telephone counselling services, has been selected as the preferred tenderer following an open tender process for the national delivery of the Veterans' Line crisis counselling service.

Mr Billson said Veterans' Line was an extremely successful after hours' telephone counselling service provided by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

"Veterans' Line provides an after hours' crisis counselling service to assist veterans and their families deal with social, emotional and psychological difficulties, when counselling staff from Vietnam Veterans' Counselling Service (VVCS) are not available," he said.

"The VVCS is a specialised and confidential Australia-wide service for all Australian veterans and their families, including peacekeepers and current members of the ADF."

Crisis Support Services offer professionally qualified telephone counsellors and psychologists who provide confidential counselling, support, information and referral services. Crisis Support Service currently provide the specialist counselling lines, Mensline Australia and Suicide Helpline Victoria.

Since it first started in 1994, Veterans' Line has received an average of 550 calls per month from members of the veteran community.

"The Department of Veterans' Affairs, through VVCS, Veterans Line and other counselling services, is helping veterans address conditions associated with depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), family issues, alcohol and drug abuse, and other physical or emotional difficulties," the Minister said.

"With the appointment of Crisis Support Services as the national provider of Veterans' Line, we can ensure a high quality and consistent service is delivered across the nation."

Members of the veteran community can access free and confidential, 24-hour counselling service through the VVCS and the after hours' Veterans' Line on 1800 011 046.

CONTACT:
Cameron Hill
Mobile: 0419 355 226