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More mental health support for veterans

New initiatives to improve the treatment and management of mental health concerns among Australia’s servicemen and women will be funded by the Australian Government.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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New initiatives to improve the treatment and management of mental health concerns among Australia’s servicemen and women will be funded by the Morrison Government.

We will commit $100,000 for a Veteran Mental Health Outreach Pilot project to pull together the available information about a new way to provide specialised home-based healthcare for veterans and their families.

Our Government recognises that not all veterans are able to access traditional, community-based mental health services.

Our younger veterans, who suffer mental health conditions, can experience social or geographic isolation so this project will look at how health providers can better ‘reach out’ and provide home-based services.

The project will be run by the Remembrance Foundation, who are dedicated to the health, welfare and quality of life of Australia’s veteran and first responder communities.

This new funding is about getting on with providing the right support, at the right time, in the right place for our veterans and their families.

Phoenix Australia, the National Centre for Excellence in Posttraumatic Mental Health, will receive $650 000 to develop up-to-date clinical guidelines for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is the second most common mental health problem next to depression, affecting over one million Australians at any point in time. It is particularly prevalent among veterans and tragically has a high association with suicide.

Australia’s National Guidelines – which help medical professionals provide the best evidence-based treatment – were first written in 2007.

It is time to incorporate new research and the latest information so our health professionals have the tools they need to prevent, intervene early and treat PTSD.

The funding announced today will enable Phoenix Australia to modernise, revise and expand the guidelines to incorporate new developments that will help veterans on the road to recovery.

Phoenix Australia will work with content area experts in all areas of trauma to develop new clinical guidelines and incorporate the latest evidence and best-practice approaches.

The guidelines will be a living document and will continue to be updated as ground-breaking research becomes available. The guidelines will improve frontline clinical services and supports to those affected by PTSD.

We are also providing a $50 000 contribution to establish a permanent memorial garden in honour of fallen Afghanistan soldiers and their families in Queensland.

The funding will go to the non-for-profit organisation 42for42. They will build a memorial garden in the grounds of Suncorp Stadium, Milton, Queensland. The 42 stands for the 41 soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan, with the 42nd representing the soldiers who have died by suicide, and those who have returned with injuries and mental illness.

These announcements builds on the $1.4 billion we are investing for fairer indexation of defence force pensions, free mental health care for all veterans and our veterans to work program.

We can never thank our servicemen and women enough for their courage, on and off the battlefield.

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