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Letter to Rachel Tharatt DVA Media

The Mental Health & Webeing Summit


Sent: Wednesday, 26 June 2019 8:01 AM

Subject: The Mental Health and Wellbeing summit

Good morning Rachel.

In my haste to put together a letter about the work of the William Kibby VC Veterans’ Shed, last night, I forgot to add a few more items your Department may or may not be interested in knowing.

Over the past 12 months we have been working with some homeless Veterans which entails finding support and accommodation outside the normally saturated housing market.

We have found that homelessness comes in various forms and have developed a couple of very valuable relationships with some specific “Street to Home “groups.

Added to finding accommodation, we have found the “Open Arms “group to be inept in terms of providing support out of hours and outside their office.

They are part of DVA aren’t they?

I neglected to talk about our Mentoring programs at our Shed, were we have  got alongside a couple of younger Veterans who have very severe psychological problems .

That has become almost a 24-hour thing.

We just don’t walk away when we close.

And then there is the Veterans Health Week, program.

I cannot seem to make your department understand that we operate that sort of stuff all the time.

Then I also forgot to add that we now have introduced 2 more Sheds in the Adelaide area,  where we provide a safe and vital environment for Veterans of various ages, to attend.

Interesting that we pay the Insurance for both new places by flogging sausages, and goods made in our Sheds, including many bags of kindling.

It is no wonder that your department attracts the criticism it does, by doing such things as inviting its” nearest and dearest” to its alleged “Summits”

Don’t you talk to each other, don’t you look at what is going on outside your offices?

Let me give you an item to look at for your next agenda.

Have a look at what value is derived from your Rehabilitation programs and what is the cost of, and return from, the Rehab companies you toss a lot of money to.

That could be a job for the Minister and his trusty sidekick Liz Cossan.

Oh, I forgot one more thing in closing.

We are running a Vigil in honour of the many lives lost through ADF Suicides.

It will be totally organised and funded by ourselves but is designed to bring a more open and explicit voice to this insidious problem we all face.

Barry Heffernan  OAM

Shed Coordinator

William Kibby VC Veterans’ Shed

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