News Stories

Calls for Better Care for Hawkesbury’s Military Veterans

Source: Jacqueline Ball
Archived 22 Oct 2019 - Posted: 24 Aug 2019
Around 46% of veterans struggle with a mental health condition within their first year back to civilian life, while half are living with multiple conditions. The government is now being urged to contribute funding to a new mental health centre for veterans in Sydney that will serve Hawkesbury’s military veterans.

This urgent need to provide better care for the area’s veterans has been echoed by the Labor Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman. The MP made a public commitment to veterans living in Hawkesbury that they will be treated fairly under a Labor regime. Ms Templeman said that veterans should expect their country and government to recognise their military service and to sustain and reward them for their commitment to their country. But while the country is being called on to provide better care for veterans, what services are available right now for Hawkesbury’s ex-servicemen and women?

Health Services Funded By DVA 

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) funds a number of health services that can be accessed by Hawkesbury veterans. Your doctor may refer you to Hawkesbury District Health Service if you require specialist treatment.  For example, chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy, dental treatment, nutritional services and treatment of malignant cancer. Hawkesbury District Health Service works with the DVA to offer healthcare services to gold card and white card holders. As a veteran, you should have a health card which enables you to access health and other care services in the region. The colour will depend on your specific type of healthcare need.

Support For Hearing Conditions

At least 80,000 Australian veterans have hearing problems as a direct result of their military service career. If you are veteran and worried about your hearing, then you should get your hearing checked as soon as possible. The DVA offers several services for veterans managing hearing loss at no cost. There are a number of hearing service providers in the Hawkesbury region offering hearing services to veterans living with a war-induced hearing condition. For example, Hearing Australia based at Hawkesbury Community Health Centre or The National Hearing Centre located in Windsor Riverview Shopping Centre. Your hearing will be assessed and determined whether you need hearing aids. If you believe you are experiencing tinnitus, a constant or intermittent sound in your ears such as a buzzing or chirping, the DVA’s tinnitus program provides services to help you manage the condition. Speak to your audiologist or doctor about having a tinnitus assessment.

Mental Health Care For Hawkesbury Veterans

Nearly half of Australian military personnel who have left active service within the last five years are living with some form of mental health condition. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common military injury that can follow exposure to at least one serious and traumatic event. It can change the way a person sees themselves, their life and the world around them. PTSD is treatable with the right support. Hawkesbury District Health Service partners with the DVA to offer mental health services to veterans, including inpatient and day group programs. These programs will help you develop the tools you need to feel that your life has purpose and meaning.

Regardless of how long a veteran served, adjusting to civilian life after a military career can be difficult. Combine this with mental health issues, hearing loss or other medical conditions and many veterans can struggle. The healthcare services in the Hawkesbury region are designed to support veterans and their families to not just adjust to life after active service, but be able to enjoy a life that is healthy and fulfilled.

 
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