Additional mental health support for white card holders

Tuesday, August 10 2021

The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

Ten thousand veterans with complex mental health needs will have access to a network of qualified GPs nationwide, following the expansion of support provided by the Australian Government.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Andrew Gee today announced the Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program has been expanded to provide additional support for DVA White Card holders with an accepted mental health condition.

“The Australian Government already provides free mental health care to anyone who has served one day in uniform,” Minister Gee said. “This program goes a step further in providing dedicated and coordinated care to veterans with chronic conditions and complex care needs.

“No two veterans have had the same experience while in service, and their level of health care requirements and support should reflect these differences. The CVC Program aims to specifically support each participant based on their individual needs.

“Expanding the program means veterans with complex mental health needs can access this life saving support through their local GP.

“Our country asks so much of our men and women in uniform. In return, Australia needs to ensure they have the best care possible we can provide once their service concludes. This further mental health support is a very welcome and positive development.”

Previously open only to DVA Gold Card holders, the CVC Program engages General Practitioners and practice nurses to provide veterans in need with a multi-disciplinary care team, who develop and deliver comprehensive care plans to suit the individual needs of each veteran.

“The CVC program has proven to be effective in reducing unplanned hospitalisation and improving the quality of life for veterans in need of critical mental health care,” Minister Gee said.

“I am pleased that 4,888 GPs are already providing services to veterans and their families through the CVC program, and I would encourage GPs around Australia who are not in the program already to consider joining.

“The Australian Government is focused on addressing veteran mental health and suicide prevention within the Defence and veteran community. Expanding this program to Veteran White Card holders provides veterans with complex needs with the support they require to receive the best possible medical treatment.”

White Card holders need to have an accepted chronic mental health condition and meet the other eligibility criteria of the CVC Program. For more information on the CVC Program and eligibility visit the DVA website.

Minister Gee’s office: 0459 966 944
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Andrew Gee, Canberra ACT.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.