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Minister opens new Darwin facilities for Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service

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News ReleaseBen H um phreys m in ist er for veterans' affairs For immediate release, 29 April 1991 19/91

M inister opens new D arw in facilities for V ietnam V eterans Counselling Service

New counselling facilities for Vietnam and other veterans and their families have been opened today in Darwin by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Ben Humphreys.

The new premises are in the Cascom Centre, Bradshaw Terrace, Casuarina, and replace smaller offices in Casuarina Plaza.

"Darwin Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service was set up nine years ago as part of the Government’s plan to have ’shop front’ counselling centres throughout the country," said Mr Humphreys.

"Most of the counselling directly focuses on the long term effects of active service in Vietnam, but the centre also provides marital and group counselling, and counselling for the children of veterans, when appropriate."

The services are available for veterans of any conflict, and the Minister said both in Darwin and nationally, Vietnam Veterans Service counsellors are seeing as many clients today as when the Service began.

In the five months to the end of February, the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service in Darwin had 20 new clients, 624 continuing consultations and 288 telephone consultations. A further 25 veterans sought help through the Country Outreach program and had 34 consultations.

The Country Outreach Program is an important part of the service which enables veterans in isolated areas to avail themselves of counselling.

"Given the wariness of many veterans to the idea of counselling, many veterans ’drop-in’ first to look at the Service," said Mr Humphreys.

The Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service provides a relaxed, informal setting in which veterans and their families can talk about their problems.

"These new premises provide even better facilities, including a room for veterans to look at videos, read, work on projects, have coffee and spend time together. There is also a room for a visiting medical officer and sessional psychologist, and an area for group counselling, training workshops and other activities."

Media contact: Annette Holden (06) 289 6152 (w) (06) 251 2177 (h)

Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service (089) 27 9411 (008) 01 1046