Home' Army News : February 17th 2010 Contents NEWS 9
Army February 17, 2011
By Hugh McKenzie
NEW mental-health teams will
come on line this year as part
of Defence's commitment to the
ADF Mental Health Strategy.
The number of teams, which
deliver programs covering sub-
stance abuse, depression and sui-
cide prevention, will rise from
three to eight by mid-2011.
They will be based in each of
the mainland capital cities and
The initiative is a response
to the 2009 Dunt Review which
identified increased services were
required by members.
One of the major new meas-
ures was the creation of the ADF
Alcohol Management Strategy,
which continues until November
Joint Health Commander Maj-
Gen Paul Alexander said Defence
practised a policy of responsible
drinking and zero tolerance to
"We've engaged a peak body to
assist with the management strat-
egy and we've also established a
project management board and
working groups that have triservice
representation," he said.
"Looking at the culture and the
leading causes of alcohol-related
issues is a key element.
"We also want to conduct pol-
icy to practice reviews, stakehold-
er interviews and establish focus
groups. They aren't buzz words,
they're current best practice and
we want the best for the ADF."
While there is zero tolerance
to alcohol and substance abuse,
Defence policy incorporates sup-
port and education as well as disci-
pline and safety.
"In some instances the misuse
of alcohol or other drugs can be
a sign of an underlying mental
health issue," Maj-Gen Alexander
"I'd encourage anyone who
thinks they have a problem to ask
for assistance, they can then be
referred to a health professional."
Individuals requiring treatment
may be referred for individual
counselling or to a group program
including the Outpatient Alcohol
Treatment Program (four days)
and the Alcohol Rehabilitation and
Education Program (four weeks).
By Hugh McKenzie
NEW housing and removals assistance announced on
February 1 will be available to injured ADF person-
nel who require a live-in carer to aid rehabilitation.
The new policy will provide assistance to members
on a short- or long-term basis with domestic tasks,
personal hygiene, mobility and feeding, and to provide
ongoing medical care.
Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren
Snowdon said the need for a live-in carer was not pre-
viously recognised and no provisions were made for
"This policy will allow members without dependants
who need a live-in carer greater access to Defence resi-
dences or additional rent allowance to accommodate the
carer and their rehabilitation needs."
He said the move was an illustration of Defence
being serious about its responsibility to provide health
care and rehabilitation to members of the ADF.
The arrangement delivers on a commitment made
in the 2009 Defence White Paper to develop a simple,
transparent and flexible package of housing and accom-
modation assistance options.
In addition, members who need to move to a new
home or location to assist in their rehabilitation can also
be provided with a Commonwealth-funded removal.
Removals assistance may be provided for a live-in
carer on a case-by-case basis.
Members who have dependants may also access
housing with an additional bedroom to accommodate a
On the drink: Alcohol and substance abuse will be a major
focus of the new mental health teams.
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