Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan has announced the government is working on a trial to evaluate the mental health benefits of assistance dogs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Mr Tehan said the trial would enable the collection of evidence to inform future policy considerations to help the government continue meeting the mental health needs of veterans.
“Anyone who has had a dog knows they can be loyal friends and many veterans have told me that having a dog has been incredibly beneficial for their mental health,” Mr Tehan said.
“The government now wants to investigate whether this benefit can be supported by evidence from a trial.
“More than 30,000 Australian veterans have an accepted service-related disability for PTSD and the government is committed to tackling the mental health challenges facing veterans and their families.
“In last year’s budget, the government made the treatment of PTSD free for anyone who has served one day in the full-time ADF and this has led to encouraging results with more veterans seeking help for PTSD – and getting that help.”
Mr Tehan said the trial was being planned to guarantee the safety of the human and animal participants as well as the general public.
The government recently approved a grant to study the value of service dogs for veterans with mental health conditions under the new Supporting Younger Veterans Program.
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