The Gallipoli Medical Research Institute’s Dr Kerri-Ann Woodbury says when she worked as a Nursing Officer in the army, poor mental health health was tied to “people being unable to continue to do their job”.
“During my time in the military, it was around the time that the military was working very hard to try and remove some of the stigma around mental health and access to mental health care,” she told Sky News Australia.
She said while they went some way of doing this, there was still a “massive issue” around mental health.
“And one of the lines was, if you’re not deployable, then you’re not employable,” she said.
Support is available for veterans and their families:
Victoria’s Deputy Premier James Merlino has announced a further $5.68 million for dedicated mental health services.
“This will boost capacity to support some of Victoria ‘s most vulnerable members of our community and will mean more world-class clinical consultation and advice for our whole mental health workforce across the state, meaning better mental healthcare for everyone,” Mr Merlino said.
This comes as the state prepares to exit lockdown at midnight.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced a $130 million support package for mental health as part of the government’s broader economic recovery plan amid the COVID pandemic.
“In many ways mental health is the untold story of this pandemic, Mr Perrottet said at a media conference on Sunday.
“For many people this has been a very difficult time.”
“This investment today … will provide more services, more beds, more counsellors, will ensure more appointments right across the state to give people who need help and assistance that extra bit of support.
“We don’t want anyone to slip through the cracks.”
Mr Perrottet also announced that Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 students will return to school classrooms on Monday.
Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino has announced the state government is launching a “mental health menu” for schools which will see increased support for the mental health of students.
He said in May the government committed $200 million towards the issue of mental health in schools.
“It will be the absolute focus as students return to face-to-face teaching through the course of the next couple of weeks,” Mr Merlino said at a media conference on Thursday.
He said government schools will be able to choose from a range of initiatives which best suit their students’ needs, and there will be three tiers.
“Tier one – positive mental health promotion, and that includes initiatives like mental health first aid training, positive education and therapy dogs.
“Tier two – early intervention and cohort-specific initiatives – so things like cross-cultural responsiveness training or trauma-informed care.
“Tier three – targeted support for those experiencing mental health issues – so direct, additional mental health professionals working in our schools.”
He said the mental health royal commission recommended the fund be prioritised for rural and regional schools and therefore the initiative will begin in these schools in 2022, with metropolitan Melbourne to follow in subsequent years.