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Media releases & speeches

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

5 July 2017

Addressing the Victorian RSL State Congress

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today called on the Victorian veteran community to help spread the important message about the mental health support available to former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and expanding services for families of veterans.

Mr Tehan told the Victorian RSL State Congress in Melbourne that the Government had provided an additional $350 million in this year’s Budget to support the men and women who defend our nation.

Mr Tehan said an additional $8.5 million had been provided to expand eligibility for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) while $33.5 million had been provided to expand non-liability health care to cover all mental health conditions.

“Partners and children of our contemporary veterans who have had at least one day of full-time service now have access to the services and support provided by VVCS, including counselling and group programs,” Mr Tehan said.

“Former partners of eligible ADF personnel are also able to access VVCS for up to five years after a couple separates or while co-parenting a child under the age of 18.

“One of the most important measures in this year’s Budget is the expansion of non-liability health care to cover all mental health conditions.

“This means the Government will pay for the mental health treatment of anyone who has served even one day in the full-time ADF and there is no requirement to prove that the condition is related to military service. Treatment is also available for as long as it is needed.

“Today I am calling on the Victorian RSL, and the broader veteran community, to share this information with all current and former members of the ADF and their family members. Importantly, if you think you need help or someone you know needs help, please ask for it – just contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.”

For more information, call 133 254 (metropolitan callers) or 1800 555 254 (regional callers), email NLHC@dva.gov.au or visit www.dva.gov.au/nlhc. If anyone needs immediate help, they can phone VVCS at any time on 1800 011 046.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Amelia Gard, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.