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Increased risk of attempted suicide in Australian veterans

Increased risk of attempted suicide in Australian veterans is associated with total and permanent incapacitation, unemployment and posttraumatic stress disorder severity.

You can read the full paper on suicide amongst veterans conducted by Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation in conjunction with Toowong Private Hospital, and published this week in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry by clicking here.

Abstract

Background: Military veterans have higher rates of suicidality and completed suicides compared to the general population.  Previous research has demonstrated suicidal behaviour is higher in US combat veterans who are younger, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety and score lower on measures of health. However, research on predictors of suicide for Australian veterans is limited. The aim of this study was to identify significant demographic and psychological differences between veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder who had attempted suicide and those with posttraumatic stress disorder who had not, as well as determine predictors of suicide attempts within an Australian cohort.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on 229 ex-service personnel diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder who had attended a Military Service Trauma Recovery Day Program as outpatients at Toowong Private Hospital from 2007 to 2014. Patients completed a battery of mental health self-report questionnaires assessing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol use, anger, depression, anxiety and quality of life. Demographic information and self-reported history of suicide attempts were also recorded.

Results: Results indicated the average age was significantly lower, and the rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, anger, anxiety and depression symptoms were significantly higher in those veterans with history of a suicide attempt. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity, unemployment or total and permanent incapacity pension status significantly predicted suicide attempt history.

Conclusion: Among a cohort of Australian veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder, psychopathology severity, unemployment and total and permanent incapacity status are significantly associated with suicidality. This study highlights the importance of early identification of posttraumatic stress disorder and psychopathology, therapeutic and social engagement, and prioritisation of tangible employment options or meaningful and goal-directed activities for veterans
deemed unable to work.

 

NMHC Review into the Prevention of Self-Harm and Suicide.

Dear ESORT members,

I am writing to inform you of the recent release of the Government’s Response to the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) Review into the prevention of self-harm and suicide. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel released the Government’s response on 30 June 2017 in Melbourne.

The response is available online at www.dva.gov.au/nmhcreview.

At the same time, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) also released its update of data on the incidence of suicide among current and former ADF members. Its report is available online at http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129559898.

I encourage you to share these reports with your members.

 

Regards,

Neil Bayles

Assistant Secretary Portfolio, Program and Assurance Office

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Australia’s War Animal Memorial

 

The Australian War Animal Memorial Organization (AWAMO) will be opening Australia’s War Animal Memorial at Pozières, France on 21 July 2017.

This Australian first, honours not only all Australian animals that served and died on the Western Front but all other animals from all nations.

Read the full account and history of war animals on the following link:

Aust War Animals

 

Qld Govt. Concessions to Vetreans and Seniors

The Queensland Government offers many concessions to veterans in possession of Gold and White Cards as well as seniors and pensioners in our community.  The link below provides a consolidated overview if the concessions available.  Further information can be obtained for the Department of Communities or by contacting the Pensions Officer at Kenmore-Moggill Sub-Branch Inc.

 

Qld Gov Booklet concessions-made-easy (004)

 

Vietnam Research Resource

Attached at the Web Link below is a very well constructed and in depth research document which may be of interest to Vietnam Veterans or anyone interested in the Vietnam era or those carrying out research projects. 

The effort that has gone into the production of this document has been considerable.

Select the link below:

 

http://www.tom.pilsch.com/Vietnam.html

 

 

News N Views February 2017

Join the League today to Support fellow Veterans

Join the League today to Support fellow Veterans

Read February 2017 edition of News n Views by clicking here:  News n Views Feb 2017

Non-Liability Health Care

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DVA Factsheet HSV109 –  More information may be obtained by selecting one of the links or by contacting the Advocate’s office located at Kenmore-Moggill RSL Block 5, Fairview Aged Care Pinjarra Hills. Contact numbers are located on this site under Advocacy and Welfare.

Purpose

This Factsheet is about non-liability health care treatment available to current and former members of the ADF, including who is eligible and how to apply to access treatment.

What is non-liability health care?

Non-liability health care allows former and current ADF personnel, depending on their eligibility, to receive treatment for the following conditions:

  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm);
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis;
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Depressive Disorder;
  • Anxiety Disorder;
  • Alcohol Use Disorder; and
  • Substance Use Disorder.

There is no need to establish that these conditions were caused by your service. However, the specific conditions for which you may be eligible to receive treatment depend on the period in which you served or, in some cases, the nature of your service (e.g. service on operational deployments).

Am I eligible?

All current and former members with continuous full-time service (CFTS) are eligible for treatment of the following conditions:

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Depressive Disorder;
  • Anxiety Disorder;
  • Alcohol Use Disorder; and
  • Substance Use Disorder.

Non-liability health care treatment of Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm) and Pulmonary Tuberculosis is available to those with the following types of service:

  • eligible war service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA)
  • operational service under the VEA
  • warlike and non-warlike service under the VEA or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
  • peacekeeping service
  • hazardous service; or
  • British Nuclear Test defence service as defined in the VEA.
  • completed 3 years CFTS between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994; or
  • were discharged on the grounds of invalidity or physical or mental incapacity to perform duties before completing 3 years CFTS between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994, but were engaged to serve not less than 3 years; or
  • were a National Serviceman serving on 6 December 1972 and completed your contracted period of National Service.

How do I apply?

To apply for non-liability health care for cancer of pulmonary tuberculosis, you need to fill out application form D9215 Application for Health Care for Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm) and Tuberculosis and return it to DVA using the directions provided on the form.

There is no need to lodge an application form for non-liability health care for PTSD, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder. However, you can complete form D9213 Application for Health Care for Certain Mental Health Conditions, if you wish to do so. Alternatively, you can email your request for non-liability health care for these conditions to [email protected], or apply over the phone by calling DVA on the General Enquiries numbers listed at the end of this Factsheet.

You may need to provide proof of identity, and your service records will be examined to check your service eligibility.

For cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis, a diagnosis by an appropriately qualified health professional is also required as part of the application process. A diagnosis of cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis can be made by your treating medical practitioner.

For mental health conditions, a diagnosis is not required at the time of application in order for treatment to be approved. However, a diagnosis is required within six months of the date of approval if treatment is to continue past that period. A diagnosis can be made by a psychiatrist, a general practitioner (GP) or a clinical psychologist.

What treatment is covered?

A range of treatments may be available to you. These could include treatment from a general practitioner, medical specialist, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, psychiatrist, hospital services, specialist PTSD programs, pharmaceuticals, or oncologist services as required to treat the condition

If you are found to be eligible you will be issued with a DVA Health Card – for specific conditions (White Card). More information on the treatment available can be found in Factsheet HSV61 DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White).

How will this affect my compensation claims?

Non-liability health care entitlements are entirely separate to the process of claiming compensation. Compensation for accepted conditions is paid on the basis that the condition is related to your service. Non-liability health care treatment is provided regardless of the cause of your condition. This means that if you claim compensation for a condition for which you are also eligible to receive treatment under non-liability health care and the compensation claim is not accepted, you may continue to be eligible for non-liability health care.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Metro Phone: 133 254 *

Regional Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: [email protected]

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

War Widows Pension and the Pension Changes 1 Jan 2017

 

wwp

You may have read reports in the media about some widows claiming to have lost their War Widows pension because of recent changes to the assets test.

Those reports are inaccurate.

The facts are that the War Widows pension is not means tested and is not affected by changes to the assets test which came into effect on 1 January 2017.  It is therefore not possible for a widow to lose their War Widows pension because of the recent changes.  (Please also note that the changes to asset testing is a Government initiative, not DVA).

However DFWA understands that some War Widows may have been affected by the changes, specifically those widows in receipt of a supplementary pension, which may have been affected as a result of the changes to the assets test.

By way of explanation, some widows were offered and elected to receive a lump sum compensation payment instead of an ongoing War Widows pension (this being dependent upon which Parliamentary Act was involved at the time of application).  Such widows then do not receive a War Widows pension, although are still classified as War Widow (and have a DVA Gold Card).  This is because the War Widows pension is classified as compensation and one cannot be compensated twice (because of having received a lump sum).  However – and this is where the confusion lies – they may still qualify for a supplementary pension.  Some widows mistakenly view that supplementary pension as being their “War Widows pension” – it is not, and unlike the full War Widows pension, is subject to asset testing.  Thus, the recent changes to asset testing mean that some widows may had had their supplementary pension affected (but retain their Gold Card).

All widows should be reassured that any widow who is affected by the recent changes to asset testing will have received a letter from DVA some time ago explaining their personal circumstances.

 Should you have any questions on this matter or your pension and entitlement payments, please contact the DVA and/or Centrelink, depending on your personal circumstances, noting that our advice is just that – advice, albeit given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge and understanding.

Advice provided through the VVAA.

 

Concert by the Stream – RSL Centenary

Free Afternoon of

Family Fun & Music 

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 2.22.46 PM

Commemorate the Centenary of the RSL
and to say thank you for your ongoing support

Free Afternoon of Family Fun and Music

Sunday 4 December

1:00pm to 5:00pm

Pine Rivers Park Strathpine

Featuring
Rock Climbing Wall
Rides
Animal Petting Zoo
Food, Drinks and more!
This is a free concert

 

Featuring James Blundell concert-1_pe  

The John Abbot Band  and  Fred Smith

More information contact

Gary Lancaster  0401642521

Bruce Miller 0437 617 720

Tony Smith 0416 224 762