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Veterans Affairs

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Government needs to act to stop more veterans’ suicides

Greens spokesperson for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, today called on the government to act on the recommendations of the recent Senate inquiry initiated by the Greens into veterans’ mental health in light of reports that another veteran who was administered mefloquine has committed suicide after a long history of mental illness.

Senator Whish-Wilson extended his condolences to the friends and family of Chris Stiles, a veteran of East Timor.

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Senate urges Government to act on Veterans' suicide rates

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Defence and Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson, welcomed the release today of the Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee’s report into the mental health of ADF veterans.

Senator Whish-Wilson initiated the inquiry in 2015 on the back of concerns about the rate of mental health problems among veterans, including the rates of suicide and the extent of homelessness.

The report shows that the rate of suicidality—thinking of suicide or making a plan—is nearly three times higher among veterans than it is in the general population.

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Senate Inquiry into Veterans’ mental health begins tomorrow

Greens spokesperson for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson will be attending the first public hearing of the Senate Inquiry into Veterans’ mental health tomorrow in Canberra.

Senator Whish-Wilson established the Inquiry following shocking revelations about the prevalence of mental illness, suicide and substance abuse amongst our defence force personnel returning from deployments and other service.

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Veterans Deserve Better

The Greens spokesperson for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provided the following comments on the ABC’s Four Corners episode, “Bringing the War Home,” by Quentin McDermott and Mary Fallon into the lack of support for returning veterans.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “We send these men and women off to fight wars on our behalf and yet we don’t do enough to help them cope with the horrors they faced during their service once they return.

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Repat closure must not disrupt veterans services

Services to veterans must not be interrupted by the planned closure of the General Repatriation Hospital, says Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said the new centre of excellence must be fully operational before the Repat is closed, and consideration should be given to the cultural significance of the site for veterans.

"The General Repatriation Hospital is more than just a hospital to many veterans - it is a place to meet and to remember and has had a culture that respects and understands veterans," Senator Wright said.

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Abbott must apologise for D-Day political play

The Prime Minister should apologise for using D-Day to push his carbon tax bandwagon, says Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

"Prime Minister Abbott should be ashamed of himself for using D-Day," Senator Wright said.

"Those who fought for our country at D-Day, and every other conflict since, came from every corner of society. Their service should not be co-opted to push the Prime Minister's political bandwagons.

"War service should not be commercialised and it should not be politicised.

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