Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon today announced that from October 2011, dedicated staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will operate at more than 25 military bases around Australia to provide advice and support on injury, physical and mental health and compensation issues.
The staff will assist personnel in their transition to civilian life.
The Minister made the announcement following the launch of the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health forum in Melbourne today.
“This new initiative – part of the Support to Wounded, Injured or Ill Program (SWIIP) – will support ADF members dealing with injury, physical and mental health issues, accessing information on their entitlements and ultimately improving their transition to civilian life,” Mr Snowdon said.
“From October, staff will visit more than 25 Australian Defence Force bases regularly and routinely as part of the SWIIP project.
“They will provide expert advice and facilitate early notification of compensable injuries including those tackling physical and mental health issues.
“The on-base visiting model will provide advice and support relating to the provision of DVA services and benefits for all ADF personnel.”
Once implemented SWIIP will provide a ‘whole of life’ medical, rehabilitation, compensation and transition framework for Defence.
It will include the early identification of health and income support requirements post discharge; participation in transition management seminars, and pre and post deployment briefings.
Mr Snowdon said SWIIP would make the recipient the central focus of support and ensure both Departments are focussed on outcomes, not process.
“It will reduce complexity involved in accessing support and ensure better integration.
“We have created SWIIP as a specialised, all encompassing program and the vehicle for realising a fundamental cultural shift for all areas within Defence and DVA that have responsibility for a transitioning member.
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999
Department of Veterans' Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203