A pilot program to assess easier access to general information about mental health services, counselling, rehabilitation, and transition and support services for veterans and their families has commenced in Mount Gambier, South Australia, and North Lakes in the Moreton Bay area of Queensland.
The two-site experiment is part a pilot the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is conducting with Australia Post.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said this pilot would explore the opportunity for DVA to further expand its reach to veterans and their families by tapping into the extensive network of Australia Post outlets.
“The pilot will provide easy access to general information about mental-health services, counselling, rehabilitation, and transition and support services to veterans and their families who may not have had prior contact with DVA,” Mr Chester said.
“This expansion to a further two sites* will provide more information about the way this service is accessed by veterans and their families in metropolitan and regional areas and will help us assess the benefits of the service further.”
Mr Chester said the pilot supplemented DVA’s existing face-to-face service-delivery network by leveraging the large Australia-wide footprint of Australia Post [despite being launched in only two sites].
It will not replace any existing DVA program or service, he said.
“Information is available via in-store Australia Post kiosk facilities, as well as the Australia Post concierge service, in-store posters, brochures and videos.
“A feedback form is available via the in-store iMac in which DVA is seeking ongoing user feedback to continue improving the service.
“The pilot will be evaluated before its conclusion** at the end of June 2018.”
This press release was fairly heavily edited, especially to downplay what I felt was an over-inflated assessment of a pilot that, let’s face it, is only running in two rural sites and for less than three months.
I don’t think it warranted the party-political point-scoring that was in the now-deleted second paragraph.
*Mr Chester didn’t elaborate on where other sites were – and CONTACT isn’t aware of any. LATE FOLLOWUP: DVA’s Facebook page says, the trial above began in December last year with the first outlet being established in Woden, ACT.
**Why would you evaluate a pilot before its conclusion, especially when it runs for less than three months in only two sites? (unless you already knew the outcome. perhaps).