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Telephone counselling service for veterans

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Ben H umphreys m in is t e r for veterans' affairs

5 6 / 8 9 6 November 1989

Telephone Counselling Service for Veterans

A 24 hour, 008 telephone counselling service for veterans and their families will be launched this evening by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Ben Humphreys.

The service is a joint effort by the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service and the Salvation Army following a successful pilot scheme in New South Wales and Canberra over the past 12 months.

"Vietnam was the last major war Australian servicemen were involved in. It was a different war and returning veterans had different problems to veterans of previous conflicts," Mr Humphreys said.

"The Government recognises those problems, which is one of the reasons the Veterans' Line has been established.

"Should any veterans be in distress, assistance and comfort from a network of helpers, including Vietnam veterans, is only a phone call away."

Because the pilot scheme has been so successful, it will be used as a model to establish other telephone counselling services throughout Australia.

Mr Humphreys congratulated everyone involved with making the project such an outstanding success, and added, that the involvement of the Salvation Army with the service, had greatly assisted its acceptance by the veterans community.

Counsellors can be contacted on toll free, 008 043503

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Further information: Liane Grierson (02) 635 9733

Media inquires: Jack Docherty (062) 89 6562 C O M M O N W EA LTH