Delivering crucial mental health support for Tasmanian veterans

For too long, many veterans in Tasmania have had to travel to the mainland to get the specialised acute mental health support they need.

Thanks to a suite of new mental health initiatives, more than 17,000 Tasmanian veterans and their families will be able to access enhanced mental health supports, close to home.

Funded by the Albanese Labor Government, Open Arms Tasmania has developed an eight week, first of its kind Stress, Resilience and Functioning (SRF) Program to support veterans across the state develop practical skills to reduce the impacts of stress and PTSD.

This program is the first part of a specialist PTSD Trauma Recovery program that will be offered in Hobart, Burnie and Launceston, enabling veterans to maintain the stability of living at home, while receiving the treatment they need.

For those requiring additional treatment, an intensive four week PTSD Trauma Recovery Program will also be available to Tasmanian veterans.

To complement these new programs, the Tasmanian Government is now working to identify veterans through state-based mental health avenues to connect them to military aware, specialist services through Open Arms.

These initiatives are the first of their kind in Australia and will provide important learnings for how we can better support the mental health of veterans and families nation-wide.

These new initiatives will be delivered by a team of highly experienced clinicians and Peers with lived experience of Australian Defence Force life.

By providing these important outpatient services not previously available in Tasmania, veterans will also be less likely to require inpatient mental health services, also reducing requirements for Tasmanian veterans to travel to Victoria for specialist mental health services.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh:

“Providing these critical services locally in Tasmania is an important step forward.

“We identified a gap, and we’ve acted quickly to address it. Tasmania has a proud military history and it is only right that veterans have access to specialist mental health support at home.

“It is our hope we’ll reach many more veterans and families who will benefit from accessing Open Arms’ specialised, military-aware mental health support.”

Quotes attributable to Tasmanian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Guy Barnett:

“Tasmanians have served our armed forces proudly and with distinction for generations and I back anything which gives our veterans greater support,” Minister Barnett said.

“The opening of this facility makes me proud, having advocated fiercely for years to ensure that Tasmanian veterans can access this service here in Tassie.

“I welcome this announcement by the Federal Government and look forward working with Tasmania’s veterans to see positive outcomes.”

/Public Release. View in full here.