Recognising the critical role mental health plays in overall wellbeing, Medibank has selected the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation as one of the first beneficiaries of its newly established Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund (MHWF).

The MHWF was officially launched today with an event at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The fund will assist well-established individuals, organisations, and not-for-profit groups who are already providing solutions and achieving positive outcomes in the field of mental health. While this fund has been established to support the mental health of all Australians, it will initially focus on the wellbeing of ex-Defence personnel and their families, and has chosen GMRF as one of the organisations to see out this aim.

GMRF will use part of this funding to develop and pilot a new mental health program for veterans and their partners.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the support of Medibank to undertake these high impact initiatives. We believe that the inclusion of partners and families in the recovery process is critical to delivering positive, long term mental health and wellbeing benefits for veterans,” GMRF CEO Miriam Dwyer says.

The MHWF patron is The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce, who also serves as the Patron for GMRF. The former Australian Governor- General is a long-time supporter of improving the mental health of women, adolescents, those in rural areas, indigenous communities and the military.

Ms Bryce remains passionate about the importance of an open and honest dialogue around mental health and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help.

Dame Quentin Bryce said: “I have been involved in mental health advocacy throughout my career, and I have learnt a great deal from families and health professionals. Awareness of mental wellbeing has come a long way, and as a community we are talking more about it. I commend Medibank for taking this practical step and providing support where it will make a difference.”

Medibank CEO Craig Drummond said: “Mental health is a growing concern for many Australians, including our serving and transitioning ADF personnel, with a greater number of people seeking treatment. Their needs can often be unique and complex. The Medibank Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund will this year provide funding to organisations who support veterans and their families.”