The Centenary of Anzac Centre’s Practitioner Support Service was launched on Friday 27th July 2018 by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, The Hon Darren Chester MP. The service will provide expert advice and consultation to doctors, mental health practitioners, community workers and agencies around Australia who are supporting and treating veterans with mental health issues.
Mr Chester launched the service at the Military and Veteran Mental Health: Innovations in Treatment Practitioner Forum in Melbourne.
“This initiative will strengthen the ability of health professionals and ex-service organisations across Australia to provide appropriate support to veterans in need,” Mr Chester said.
The service can be accessed by calling 1800 VET 777 or through the Centenary of Anzac Centre website, which also provides links to best practice and professional development.
“A general practitioner, for example, working with an individual veteran in a rural or remote setting will be able to get expert specialist advice on how to best treat and support an individual with PTSD, pain, or other mental health issues.”
By engaging with a network of clinical experts, researchers and other leaders in the field of veteran and military mental health, Mr Chester said, “the Practitioner Support Service will ensure specific advice is matched to practitioners’ needs … [it] will use a variety of communication methods to ensure the service is available to all practitioners”.
Jane Nursey, the Director of the Practitioner Support Service, says she is very excited about the prospects of what this free service has to offer. “We have a number of high calibre experts in military and veteran mental health standing by with expertise in areas including older age psychiatry, adult and adolescent psychiatry, working with veterans in general practice, family therapy, and supporting partners and children of veterans. We can also access specialists in pain and sleep disorders. There will be a range of online links and resources on offer to support professional learning, including podcasts and webinars on topics specific to veteran and military mental health. We will be actively going out and engaging with practitioners and support agencies in rural and remote regions to ensure they have access to the latest knowledge and expert advice around the clinical care and support of their clients. We invite practitioners and organisations to send us their requests for professional development topics and we will endeavour to meet these requests with innovative learning opportunities.”
Mr Chester finished by saying, “Phoenix Australia has been an international leader in veteran and military posttraumatic mental health for over 20 years, and through the Anzac Centre will greatly assist DVA and the Government in developing innovative policy, programs, and services to improve mental health services provided to veterans and their families”.
Image above: A/Prof Darryl Wade, Jane Nursey and Nicole Sadler of the Practitioner Support Service, with The Hon Darren Chester MP