The Northern Territory Government has announced a new initiative to better support the health and wellbeing of veterans.
“There are over 10,000 current and ex-serving veterans living in the Territory, which along with their families represent a significant percentage of our population and an even greater contribution to our economy and community,” said NT Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles.
As part of the Northern Territory Defence Veterans Strategy, the NT Government has announced Operation Thrive.
Operation Thrive is a multifaceted action plan focused on enhancing support for veterans and their families.
“This action plan focuses on employment and education opportunities, health and wellbeing initiatives and respect and recognition for veterans and their families,” said the Chief Minister.
The first activity of the plan will see doctors and General Practitioners (GPs) in the Northern Territory having access to new training, that specialises in veteran health and wellbeing.
Other initiatives as part of Operation Thrive include a Check Your Mates peer led suicide prevention campaign, and a Cor Infinitus Memorial, which will be rolled out over the coming months.
The face-to-face GP program, which is a collaboration between the Northern Territory Primary Health Network (NT PHN) and key partners, and supported by the Territory Government, will be delivered by Dr Kerry Summerscales.
Dr Summerscales is a veteran and General Practitioner who recently transitioned out of the Defence Force, and is skilled in defence and veteran health conditions.
“Through Veteran Health education, we empower GP Specialists to understand the unique challenges, health concerns, and experiences of our brave Veterans, whilst enabling them to navigate the requirements of the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Dr Summerscales.
“This training not only bridges the gap between the worlds of Defence, Veterans and healthcare but, also fosters a stronger sense of duty — one that extends beyond the battlefield to the well-being of our heroes.”
Thirty two GPs from across the Territory have signed up to take part in the course which will provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary, to address the unique healthcare needs of veterans, including physical and mental health.
“The Territory Government backs our veterans,” said Minister for Veterans Affairs, Brent Potter.
“We will continue to work to ensure those leaving the ADF, who have served for our country, can transition as smoothly as possible into civilian life. This is why programs like Operation Thrive are so important, and why having doctors trained in specific veterans’ health needs is even more important.
“As Veterans’ Affairs Minister, and as a veteran myself, I will be sure that we continue to implement our first ever NT Defence Veterans Strategy, which is focused on making lives better and easier for our veterans.”
For more information and to sign up, please visit: VETERAN HEALTH – A Systematic Approach to Navigating DVA and Musculoskeletal Health Concerns | Humanitix.