Show of sup­port for veter­ans

Wanneroo Times - - News -

THE Veter­ans Sup­port Cen­tre Joon­dalup has opened in Heathridge, pro­vid­ing ad­vo­cacy and wel­fare ser­vices to veter­ans and their fam­i­lies.

City of Joon­dalup RSL pres­i­dent Rick Green said the cen­tre, based at the Heathridge Leisure Cen­tre, would of­fer ad­vo­cacy and wel­fare to all ex-ser­vice peo­ple and non-RSL mem­bers.

“We of­fer coun­selling for de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der,” he said.

“We also of­fer fi­nan­cial sup­port for those times you re­ally need help or just a place to come and have a friendly chat with like­minded peo­ple.”

Mr Green said the Sail Ter­race cen­tre would visit aged care fa­cil­i­ties and hos­pi­tals to catch up with res­i­dents and pa­tients.

It will pro­vide re­fer­rals to emer­gency re­lief and men­tal health ser­vice providers, ad­vo­cate for veter­ans deal­ing with or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Depart­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs (DVA) and the De­fence Force Om­buds­man, and pro­vide a 24-7 mo­bile phone sup­port ser­vice.

“The pur­pose of Veter­ans Sup­port Cen­tre Joon­dalup is to en­hance the lives of all veter­ans and their de­pen­dents. This is veter­ans as­sist­ing all veter­ans,” cen­tre co-or­di­na­tor Ken Be­van said.

Joon­dalup MLA Emily Hamil­ton opened the cen­tre on Septem­ber 28, high­light­ing DVA fig­ures that showed the sui­cide rate among ex-ser­vice­men was about 14 per cent higher than the na­tional av­er­age be­tween 2002 and 2015.

Fig­ures showed that one in 20 home­less Aus­tralians served in the Aus­tralian De­fence Force, with un­em­ploy­ment among veter­ans five times the na­tional av­er­age.

“The sta­tis­tics are sig­nif­i­cant and con­fronting,” Ms Hamil­ton said.

“If this cen­tre can make a dif­fer­ence in the life of even one per­son, then it has been a suc­cess.”

In the City of Joon­dalup, the DVA has 2042 clients, while the City of Wan­neroo is home to 1789.

The 24-7 helpline is 0437 378 498. Email vscjoon­dalup@hot­mail.com.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Rick Green and Ken Be­van from the Joon­dalup City RSL sub­branch.

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