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MSD Regional Directors receive training for working with Veterans

MSD alongside the RSA have developed a process where the nine RSA District Support Advisers can refer Veterans in crisis direct to MSD Regional Directors.

MSD staff were briefed on the process along with the characteristics and needs of Veterans and RSA support services by RSA Support Services Manager, Mark Compain.

The proposal developed from recent support to a younger veteran, who had twice attempted suicide, by the Auckland District Support Adviser, Teresa Cousins, the Auckland RSA President, Graham Gibson and executive member, Chris Diack.

Over 300 volunteer hours from the DSA and Chris alone were spent in support, as well as several thousand dollars from the Auckland RSA Poppy fund, in a very complex case, involving multiple agencies.

The MSD Regional Director who worked alongside the Auckland RSA volunteers presented her colleagues a review of this case during the briefing, stating that she was very impressed by the scale and manner in which RSA support was coordinated and delivered.

This initiative is one of several that the RNZRSA is spearheading within its 'Public Sector Engagement Plan'.

Working alongside other Veteran support organisations, the RNZRSA seeks to reshape the NZ Veteran sector by reconnecting public and private sector stakeholders to improve the understanding of Veteran health and wellbeing issues and to improve the development and delivery of support across the Sector. 

The RNZRSA believes that a formal, more joined approach is required due to the high tempo of NZDF operations and the growing number of Veterans who are affected by their service. Historically, this is not dissimilar to the need for and efficiencies gained from the 1941 Rehabilitation Act during WW2, which developed a centrally coordinated sector to manage the varied and complex needs of returning men and women from overseas, and their transition out of the military and back into their communities.