Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

3.90      The committee recommends that Defence conduct annual screening for mental ill-health for all ADF members.

Recommendation 2

3.96      The committee recommends that the Australian National Audit Office conduct an audit into the scope and accuracy of recordkeeping of relevant clinical information collected or recorded during deployment regarding mental ill-health or potentially traumatic incidents.

Recommendation 3

3.100      The committee recommends that all veterans be issued with a universal identification number and identification card that can be linked to their service and medical record.

Recommendation 4

3.103      The committee recommends that the Department of Health and the Department of Veterans' Affairs ensure that e-health records identify veterans and that GPs are encouraged to promote annual ADF Post-discharge GP Health Assessment for all veterans.

Recommendation 5

4.79      The committee recommends that Defence and DVA contact ADF members and veterans who have been administered mefloquine hydrochloride (mefloquine) during their service to advise them of the possible short-term and long-term side effects and that all ADF members and veterans who have been administered mefloquine during their service be given access to neurological assessment.

Recommendation 6

4.80      The committee recommends that the report for the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force's inquiry to determine whether any failures in military justice have occurred regarding the Australia Defence Force's use of mefloquine be published immediately following the completion of the inquiry.

Recommendation 7

4.86      The committee recommends that the Department of Defence ensure that medical officers and mental health professionals have ready access to records of potentially traumatic events for members following their deployment.

Recommendation 8

4.89      The committee recommends that the DVA Psychologists Schedule of Fees be revised to better reflect the Australian Psychological Societies' National Schedule of Recommended Fees and that any restrictions regarding the number of hours or frequency of psychologist sessions are based on achieving the best outcome and guaranteeing the safety of the veteran.

Recommendation 9

4.92      The committee recommends that eligibility requirements for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) be consolidated and broadened to include all current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their immediate families (partners, children, and carers).

Recommendation 10

4.93      The committee recommends that currently serving ADF members be eligible to access the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) without referral and that the VVCS reporting obligations to the ADF be limited to situations where the VVCS believes that a members' mental ill-health will compromise their safety or the safety of others.

Recommendation 11

5.62      The committee recommends that Defence mental health awareness programs do more to emphasise the benefit of early identification and treatment of mental ill-health for an ADF members' long-term career and encourage ADF members to plan beyond their next deployment.

Recommendation 12

5.63      The committee recommends that the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs develop a program to engage current and former ADF members, who have successfully deployed after rehabilitation for mental ill-health, to be 'mental health champions' to assist in the  de-stigmatisation of mental ill-health.

Recommendation 13

5.68      The committee recommends that the Department of Veterans' Affairs be adequately funded to achieve a full digitisation of its records and modernisation of its ICT systems by 2020, including the introduction of a single coherent system to process and manage claims.

Recommendation 14

6.46      The committee recommends that the Department of Defence work with ex-service organisations to develop a transition mentoring program, which will connect every veteran with a trained mentor from the ex-service community to assist and guide them through the transition process.

Recommendation 15

6.48      The committee recommends that the Department of Veterans' Affairs review its rehabilitation assessment policy to ensure that junior-ranked members are not disadvantaged and all veterans are able to access rehabilitation, education, and re-skilling based on their individual needs and abilities and regardless of rank.

Recommendation 16

6.52      The committee recommends that the Department of Veterans' Affairs identify veterans who are receiving in-patient mental health care as at risk of homelessness and provide an ongoing psychosocial case manager to actively manage an 'at risk' veteran's care program until their mental health and living situation is stable.

Recommendation 17

6.54      The committee recommends that the Department of Veterans' Affairs work together with the Department of Human Services and RSL Lifecare to develop a program to address veteran homelessness based on the Homes for Heroes 'housing first approach' and focus on ongoing psychosocial support.

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