Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 401. Updated Tuesday, 18 March 2014

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PMAC's call to arms on veterans' mental health

A new Prime Ministerial Advisory Council (PMAC) has been established with a renewed focus on veteran mental health.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson said that part of the Federal Government's plans for Veterans' Affairs was to tackle mental health challenges facing veterans and their families, especially following the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan.

Senator Ronaldson said that former Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM, RAN (Ret'd), would Chair the new PMAC and that he would be supported by Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG, as the Deputy Chair.

He said Ryan Stokes would also be a member of the new PMAC.

Former Navy chief named chair

"The Government is determined to prioritise the mental health care of veterans and their families now and into the future," Senator Ronaldson said.

"The new PMAC has the Prime Minister's unequivocal support in ensuring the Government can provide the very best support to veterans and their families facing the challenges of service-related mental illness.

"We must never stop looking for ways to improve the support we provide to those who have served our nation."

He said he welcomed the new membership and wished them well in the important task ahead of them.

Senator Ronaldson also thanked the outgoing PMAC membership for their invaluable contribution to ex-service matters including enhancing the focus on contemporary veterans and their families; supporting new research into blast injuries and the impact on longer-term health; and ongoing research into the mental health impacts of military service in both combat and training roles.

Senator Ronaldson said PMAC was first established in 2008 to advise the Prime Minister and Government on matters affecting the ex-service and defence communities.

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