Friday, 11 September 2009


Suicide Prevention Workshops

What is Operation Life?
Operation Life is the name given to the strategy aimed at preventing suicide and promoting mental health and resilience across the veteran community. Its major components include a choice of suicide prevention programs and services for the veteran community.

Operation Life workshops
Operation Life workshops are offered through VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service centres across Australia. The workshops' emphasis is on suicide prevention - they aim to help members of the veteran community to recognise someone who might be having thoughts of suicide and to link them in with appropriate help. These workshops are not treatment programs.

There are three workshops:

safeTALK: suicide alertness for everyone - a half day presentation
ASIST: applied suicide intervention skills training - two-day skills training
ASIST Tune Up - a half day refresher workshop.

To obtain more information about Operation Life workshops including upcoming program dates and locations please visit the VVCS Operation Life web page.

Where to get Help
If you require immediate crisis assistance
In an emergency call 000
For immediate counselling assistance contact:
Veterans Line: 1800 011 046
Lifeline: 13 11 14

Friday, 4 September 2009

Pension Reform

The Australian Government’s Secure and Sustainable pension reforms are the most significant and widespread in more than 20 years. They will affect all members of the veteran and ex-service community currently receiving income support payments from the government.
- There will be an increase to the income support pension rate.
- A new Pension Supplement will replace four allowances with an increase for singles and couples.
- New indexation arrangements for the base pension will better reflect changes in pensioners’ living costs.
- A Work Bonus will be introduced for pensioners who are of pension age and choose to continue working.
- Changes to the income test will affect how income support is calculated.

During September, DVA will write to you explaining how these changes will affect you. Please read your letter so you understand the impact on your pension.

Additional information is available on the DVA website    click here

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 4 August 2009, the RMA

determined Statements of Principles (SoPs) for:
- trigeminal neuralgia (54 & 55 of 2009)
- migraine (56 & 57 of 2009)
- influenza (58 & 59 of 2009)
- malaria (60 & 61 of 2009)

These SoPs revoke the SoPs previously determined for these conditions.

determined SoPs for the following new conditions:
- bronchiolitis obliterans organising pneumonia (62 & 63 of 2009)
- systemic sclerosis (64 & 65 of 2009)
- localised sclerosis (66 & 67 of 2009)

All of the above SoPs will take effect from 2 September 2009.

N.B. – This concludes the previously advertised investigations into:
» bronchiolitis obliterans organising pneumonia
» trigeminal neuralgia
» migraine
» influenza
» malaria
» scleroderma (now known as systemic sclerosis and localised sclerosis)

decided to advertise the following investigations:
- iliotibial band syndrome
- Dupuytren's contracture

The Investigation Notices for these investigations appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 26 August, 2009.

decided to publish declarations concerning focussed investigations into "anxiety spectrum disorders" with respect to the following conditions:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- polymyalgia rheumatica
- inflammatory bowel disease
- diabetes mellitus
- cerebrovascular accident

N.B. – The publication of these declarations finalises the focussed investigations previously advertised and confirms no change to the existing SoPs.