Defence Family Matters : May 2017
DFM TIME OUT FOR ADF AND VETERANS’ KIDS T he Department of Veterans’ Affairs is providing $2.1 million over two years to the well-established Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation to develop and deliver the pilot program. The program will provide respite camps, activity days and age-appropriate mental health education. It will focus on developing coping skills and resilience, while allowing children to bond with peers who are facing similar challenges. “We know from our vast experience the positive impact and the difference our program makes to the lives of children who have a parent with mental illness,” said Kookaburra Kids Chief Executive, Pam Brown. “We will deliver a program to ADF families that will support them through the complex mental health journey and give these children hope for their future. “We are proud the Government has recognised the success of the Kookaburra Kids program. “They have endorsed our ability to deliver a program to children from serving and ex-serving ADF families who have been affected by mental illness as a result of military service.” The program will start in New South Wales in May and the Australian Capital Territory in July. The program will then expand into the Northern Territory and Queensland in 2018. The program will replicate the good work delivered by the existing program in New South Wales, and will include enhancements, where necessary, to support the unique needs of the Defence and ex-serving community. The free program is open to children aged 8 to18 years who have a parent with a mental illness as a result of their military service. n www.kookaburrakids. org.au TRACIE JUNGHANS 23 The Kookaburra Kids pilot program will give ADF kids the opportunity to develop coping skills and resilience. Photos used with permission. May2017 A pilot program TO SUPPORT THE CHILDREN of current and former Australian Defence Force members who have been AFFECTED BY MENTAL ILLNESS has just been launched.