Saturday, April 20, 2024

Wellbeing plan launched for South Australian veterans

Almost 48,000 South Australians who have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force will be the focus of a new state-wide plan to improve the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families.

The Veteran Wellbeing Action Plan, launched today, focuses on three priority areas to support veterans – access to healthcare, supporting wellbeing, and building better evidence and data to inform and improve future health outcomes.

“It is our duty to care for the people who serve our nation and to ensure they receive the best care throughout any health and wellbeing challenge they may face after their service,” said Minister Geoff Brock.

“This plan focuses on better access to healthcare and building better evidence and data so that work can continue to improve the lives of veterans and their families.”

The plan includes the creation of a Veteran Health and Wellbeing Pathway and a Mental Health Pathway to improve access to health care, and new resources to connect veterans and their families to existing health and wellbeing services.

Under the plan, services at the Repat Veteran Wellbeing Centre will be further promoted, and training materials will be tailored so health care providers can better meet the health and wellbeing needs of the veteran community.

Options to improve identification of veterans in the public health and SA Health regional aged care system will also be explored, and there will be regular reporting on demand and services at the Repat Veteran Wellbeing Centre.

“We know veterans face unique health and wellbeing challenges due to the nature of service and are a group of people who are at greater risk of experiencing mental health issues,” said Minister Nadia Clancy.

“We are committed to continually improving access to care so veterans can receive the support they need when they need it.

“This plan was developed in close consultation with the Veterans’ Health Advisory Council and included significant community consultation.

“We look forward to seeing it make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families,” she said.

More than half of Australian Defence Force members Australia-wide have reported a long-term health condition, with arthritis, heart disease and mental health issues being the three most common conditions to impact veterans.

The plan was developed in collaboration with the Veterans’ Health Advisory Council.

The Veteran Wellbeing Action Plan can be accessed here.

This year, Veterans’ Health Week (VHW) is being held across Australia from 8 to 15 October 2023 and is themed Mental Wellness Matters. The theme aims to promote good health and wellbeing in the everyday life of veterans and families and shines a spotlight on the importance of mental health.

A full list of Veterans’ Health Week events is available here SA Event Calendar | Department of Veterans’ Affairs (dva.gov.au).

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