Australia

More mental health support for veterans

Health Minister Greg Hunt is to launch a series of mental health initiatives designed to support Australian servicemen and women.

New clinical guidelines for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and an outreach project for isolated veterans are among a series of mental health initiatives for servicemen and women being launched by the federal government.

Phoenix Australia, the National Centre for Excellence in Posttraumatic Mental Health, will receive $650 000 to develop up-to-date guidelines for the treatment of PTSD.

The disorder is the second most common mental health problem next to depression, affecting over one million Australians and is particularly prevalent among veterans.

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

Health Minister Greg Hunt will also commit $100,000 for a Veteran Mental Health Outreach Pilot project to pull together 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," Mr Hunt said.

"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, which caters to the health, welfare and quality of life of Australia's veteran and first responder communities.

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