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Leading experts discuss future health needs of veterans

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					Friday, 19 November 2010 	                                                                   VA064

   LEADING EXPERTS DISCUSS FUTURE HEALTH NEEDS OF VETERANS

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today opened a forum for leading experts on
military and veterans’ health to address the future needs of Australia’s veteran community.

Mr Snowdon said the Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation Military and Veterans’
Health Symposium in Melbourne brought together representatives of the Australian Defence
Force (ADF), universities, hospitals and other agencies to discuss and explore health issues
affecting serving personnel, veterans and their families.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring former and current serving ADF
personnel receive the best health care available.

“The Sir Edward Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation shares this goal and today’s
discussions will go a long way in better planning for the future needs of our veteran community,”
Mr Snowdon said.

The Symposium, supported with funding from the Australian Government, covered three
sessions: mental health reform in the ADF, the challenge of multiple deployments and veterans’
psychological treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation.

“The Australian Government is already working hard to address these issues, and has invested
$83 million on reforming mental health support in the ADF.

“This is delivering more mental health staff; increased mental health training for ADF personnel
and providers; enhanced prevention strategies including better research, improved mental
health rehabilitation and transition services, and better facilities,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs supports some 48,500 clients, who have an accepted
mental health disability and the more that is learnt about how to identify and treat mental illness,
the better.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, is providing an extra $9.5 million to deliver stronger
mental health and suicide prevention programs targeting veterans; more experienced case
managers to support clients with complex needs; and strengthening mental health programs.

“With continued collaboration with the Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, The
Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, The Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health,
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the National Health and Medical Research
Council, we will find new ways to tackle mental illness,” Mr Snowdon said.

For more information on mental health services, visit the DVA website.

Media inquiries: 	 Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999
                   Dept of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Subscribe to media releases at minister.dva.gov.au/subscribe.htm

				
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