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Government's timeframe will only scratch the surface on mental health



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THE HON AMANDA RISHWORTH MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE PERSONNEL FEDERAL MEMBER FOR KINGSTON

GOVERNMENT’S TIMEFRAME WILL ONLY SCRATCH THE SURFACE ON MENTAL HEALTH

Labor is concerned short timeframes could seriously impact the outcome of the Review into the services available to veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force in relation to the prevention of self-harm and suicide.

Announced by the Turnbull Government in August, the review is currently underway by the National Mental Health Commission and is due to provide an interim report in December.

Already facing tough deadlines, public submissions into the review only opened last week, on November 2 and will close on November 22- only allowing a 20 day time frame.

Labor has full confidence in the National Mental Health Commission, however, is concerned the Turnbull Government has not allowed a timeframe for the Commission to complete a comprehensive review.

It is important public submissions are taken seriously as they provide invaluable and practical insight to issues.

The time frame set by the Turnbull Government will only scratch the surface when it comes identifying the critical gaps of mental health services available to veterans and Defence personnel.

The public, including those providers offering services and support to those who suffer from mental health should have more than 20 days to offer their practical solutions to such a serious issue.

The Commission needs to hear directly from veterans and their families and they deserve a reasonable time frame to do so.

This Review must be comprehensive so we can provide veterans and Defence personnel the best possible mental healthcare.

TUESDAY, 8 NOVEMBER 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: KATE HANNS 0423 974 363