the danish veterans' policy

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the danish veterans' policy

ContentsPreface 31 Background – in brief 42 The veterans’ policy of the Government 63 Challenges 8– Veterans in general 9– The relatives 11– The injured 124 Recognition and support 14– Recognition 16– Support 18


ecognitionand supportveterans’ policyRegeringenthe danish governmentOctober 2010


2The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


PrefaceAmong the many tasks of the Danish Defence are the prevention of conflict and war andthe promotion of a peaceful development in the world with respect for human rights.To that end, Denmark has been deploying soldiers to many of the world’s hotspots.Since the deployment in 1992 of Danish peacekeeping troops to the Balkans more than26,000 persons have been deployed at least once to international operations.It is crucial for the Danish Government to recognize the valuable effort made by theveterans and their relatives for Denmark.Most veterans return with experiences, which have boosted their professional developmentand widened their horizon. A minor part of the veterans are in need of support tohandle the psychical and social traumas or physical injuries, inflicted upon them duringtheir deployment. In some cases exposed veterans are to be given supplementary supportin order to be on equal terms with other Danish citizens. This is a task for the entiresociety. Fortunately, the responsibility to carry out this task, assumed by the Government,the regions and the municipalities, is supplemented by voluntary organizations, and alsoby the veterans themselves.With this policy the Government wants to set the framework for the optimal way forsociety to recognize and, if necessary, support the veterans. This is a task that demandscoordination between many actors, and we encourage a joint approach.The Danish veterans’ policy is the continuation of a solid foundation of existing initiatives.New knowledge and new experience will continue to benefit the veterans and theirrelatives. Therefore, the veterans’ policy will be evaluated in two years in order to securethat we will reach our goal: to recognize and support Denmark’s veterans, wheneverthere is a need.Gitte Lillelund BechMinister of DefenceThe veterans’ policy of the Danish government 3


Background – in brief14The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


Denmark’s security, freedom and prosperity depend,for better or worse, on the global development. Safetyand stability are being challenged by new threats, suchas international terrorism, fragile states and attacks oninternational trade. All these elements have an increasinginfluence on the horizon and the effects of our securitypolicy.The deployment of military forces is a substantial contributionto an active Danish foreign and security policy.The Defence contributes to prevent conflicts and wars,and to promote democracy, freedom and respect forbasic human rights.In the last 20 years, Denmark has substantially increasedthe amount of deployed soldiers in international operations.Simultaneously, the conflict environment and thethreats have grown more severe, and as a consequencewe have had more injured and deceased soldiers.The Defence has made a huge effort to follow up on theincreasing challenges for the individual veteran and theveterans’ relatives before, during and after a deployment.The veterans are best supported on the basis of a comprehensiveapproach towards the individual veteran.It is therefore important that this task is solved in collaborationbetween the national, regional and local levels.Those employed in the Danish Defence are obliged todo service outside the national borders. The duty to bedeployed with arms is a basic condition for the militaryemployees of the Defence. The obligation for deploymentdoes, however, imply a series of consequences for theworking and private lives of the employees.DefinitionThe term veteran describes a person who – asan individual or in a unit – has been deployed toat least one international operation. The personmay still be employed in the Defence or anotherauthority, but may also have transferred to thecivilian educational system, labour market orelsewhere.The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 5


The veterans’ policyof the Government26The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


It is the Government’s position that the Danish societymust offer a worthy reception to the veterans after theireffort as deployed by Denmark.Already, a great number of initiatives have been launchedto secure recognition and support. Public authoritiesand voluntary organizations contribute to the recognitionand support of the veterans and their relatives.With the veterans’ policy the Government wants toachieve:– The best possible preparation of the employees of theDefence before deployment to international operations,and the handling of any challenges in the time aftertheir homecoming.– Support for the relatives of the veterans during thewhole course of events.– Recognition to the veterans for the highly importanteffort they have made for the Denmark.– Through a comprehensive effort, society offers prompt,relevant, coordinated and respectful treatment of thoseveterans who have been physically or psychicallyinjured in international service.The exact implications are described in chapter 4,regarding recognition and support.Enriched by experiencesIn 2008, veterans from Kosovo and Afghanistanwere asked about their experiences. Mostveterans regarded their deployment as havingbeen enriching rather than straining. Personaldevelopment, comradeship, and the experienceof taking part in making a difference, are amongthe experiences that are highly valued.Source: psychologists of the Danish DefenceThe veterans’ policy of the Danish government 7


Challenges38The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


Veterans in generalDenmark’s veterans have been deployed to thesemissions, among others:– The Army: In December 2001, by invitation of theAfghan Transitional Government, the UN SecurityCouncil established an international security force toassist Afghanistan in upholding security in the country.– The Navy: In the Gulf of Aden, the navy has lead andparticipated in an international naval force, operatingaround the Horn of Africa to establish maritime safetyin the area, and at the same time fight piracy.– The Air Force: In 1998, the Danish parliament decidedto meet a request from NATO for support with fighterplanes for the operation Allied Force over Kosovo.– In 2009, Denmark headed the field hospital in CampBastion in Afghanistan for three months. About 100Danish doctors, nurses and other medical personnelmanned the field hospital together with American andBritish colleagues.In spite of the many varied tasks, the experiencesand needs of the veterans often coincide. One centraland common theme for the veterans is the wish forrecognition of their effort. The national flag-flying dayfor Denmark’s deployed, the Monument for Denmark’sInternational Effort, homecoming parades and awardof medals exemplify signs of gratitude from the officialDenmark. A gratitude supplementing the one theveterans meet in their close environment.Injured and deceasedin the period 1992 – September 2010Physically PermanentMission Deployed injured disability DeceasedThe Balkans abt. 29,000 36 10 12Iraq abt. 6,500 19 10 8Afghanistan abt. 10,500 147 70 37Others abt. 4,500 0 0 5Total abt. 50,500 202 90 62In this period of time there have been abt. 50,500 deployments,distributed on abt. 26,500 veterans.The term ‘injured’ merely comprises the physically injured,as there is no reliable information regarding the number ofveterans who suffer from psychical injury in need of treatmentas a consequence of their deployment.This is what we do today:Talk with psychologistupon homecomingUpon homecoming, veterans from missionswith many hostilities (such as Iraq andAfghanistan) must attend an individual talk witha psychologist in order to determine, whetherthey have any immediate need for support(since 2003).The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 9


Many veterans experience that they get a better knowledgeof themselves through their deployment. Theencounter with a local population with other culturalstandards in an area of conflict, and with radicallydifferent problems from those in Denmark, has givennew knowledge to many deployed soldiers.Recognition is thus also to realize and appreciate theprofessional and personal competences that the veteransacquire during their deployment.The time before deployment is characterized by intensiveeducation and training in order to prepare the soldier forthat specific mission. During deployment, everyday lifemay be characterized by a lot of waiting time and routinetasks, interrupted by intense periods of straining andunaccustomed situations. In most conflict areas there willbe different dangers, depending on the specific situation.Improvised explosive devices and combat are examplesof specific threats against the life of the individual soldier.Destitution in the local population, assault on civilians,and injured and deceased colleagues are other examplesof experiences that deployed soldiers must be able torelate to specifically. The many foreign influences andstraining situations affect most people both physicallyand psychically. Those are normal reactions to unusualexperiences.The tasks in the mission areas are very complex anddemand that a soldier has a high mental readiness.For instance, Danish soldiers must be able to not onlyfight rebel forces, protect the local population and takepart in stabilizing an area. They must also be able to enterinto a dynamic teamwork with the actors responsible forthe civilian reconstruction and development effort, andwith the local population.After deployment, the veteran once again has to adaptto Danish everyday life. The veteran’s mental preparednessmust be brought back to the same level, as it wasbefore the deployment. This can be difficult after a periodof time where high intensity has been the norm. Someveterans also display altered physiological reactions.After a longer deployment period of high preparedness,the adrenaline production may be increased, amongother reactions. It is quite normal that it will take time toget it back to the level where it was before deployment.This is what we do today:From ‘Battlemind’ to ‘Homemind’Units that have been in Afghanistan are kepttogether for up to three months after homecoming.The veterans have the opportunityto process their experience together, and toget used to the transition to civilian life (firstprogramme was in 2008).10The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


The psychically injuredIt is normal to react to unpleasant incidents. For mostpeople, the reactions fade away again after a brief periodof time. For a minor group, the reactions may developinto an actual psychical illness, which needs treatment.Upon their homecoming, some veterans experiencepassing emotional problems, for instance characterizedby restlessness, sadness, social withdrawal, short temperand aggressive behaviour, or abuse of either alcohol oreuphoriants. If the symptoms prevail, they may becomepermanent. These problems are a severe strain – also tothe relatives of the veteran. It is important that the veterangets help and support as soon as possible.The situation for veterans with emotional problems canbe complicated by social circumstances, such as brokenrelationships, frequent sick-days, or more ordinary problemswith finding their way back to normal everyday life.Especially the emotionally traumatized veterans feel thatthe authorities display a general lack of understandingof the problems that may arise due to a deployment.Psychically injured veterans often expect to receive specialconsideration. On the other hand, public authoritiesmay have a problem defining the exact problems andmay have a hard time getting the necessary informationfrom the veteran.The situation is such today that only the National Hospitalof Denmark (Rigshospitalet) is able to offer psychiatricassistance with a basis in military vocational knowledge.For veterans living far away from the capital, who forinstance suffer from a severe psychic strain reaction,the geographic distance may be a barrier in itself.Psychically injured veterans sometimes have a feelingthat their local authorities do not possess the necessaryexperience, and that there is a general lack of knowledgeof the special conditions of the veterans.Psychically injured veterans may harbour considerableresistance and scepticism towards addressing thetherapeutic system, and may react strongly, if theyfeel rejected.In some cases, emotional problems emerge a long timeafter homecoming. Veterans and relatives are informedin detail, which symptoms they should be aware of,and which options there are for treatment by the psychologistsof the Defence – also after homecoming.The psychologists of the Defence are not aware of allveterans with psychic problems. This is either becausethe problem has not been recognized by the individualveteran, or because the person in question does notwant help from the Defence.This is what we do today:QuestionnaireFocus onthe psychically injuredThe Danish Defence sends out questionnaires tothe veterans six months after their homecoming.In the questionnaires, they may recount theirexperiences and reactions after deployment.The psychologists of the Defence contact anyveteran who is showing indications of need forsupport, unless the veteran specifically declinesthis (since 1997).In 2009, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministryof Health informed the regions and the localauthorities that veterans with psychical problemsmay face specific challenges. At the same time,they were informed of the existing offers ofsupport in the Defence and in the health system.The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 13


It is the policy of the Danish Government that veteransmust be recognized for their effort, and that they andtheir relatives must be supported, whenever the needarises. This policy introduces a series of initiatives,supplementing the existing assistance offered by national,regional, and local authorities to all citizens. The initiativesare based on an already existing foundation of initiatives,taken in later years by the Defence, among others. In thisconnection it is important to emphasize and recognizethe important effort in this field made by voluntary organizations.In relation to the injured veterans, it is important for theGovernment that each initiative is based on the situationof the individual veteran. The best possible help must beavailable, in order to make the veteran able to once againcontribute to society – also in the interest of the veteranand the veteran’s relatives.This is what we do today:The Danish Parliament adoptsa proposal for tax exemptionof soldier’s grantsGrants to support Danish soldiers and civilianemployees, who have been physically orpsychically injured in international operations,are exempt from tax. This also applies to grantsgiven to relatives, in cases where the deployedhas been killed or has suffered injury.The reception of a tax-exempt soldiers’ granthas no effect on the calculation of cash benefitor starting assistance.The Danish Defence has a special responsibility in relationto the deployed soldiers and their relatives. The overallpurpose of the effort is to send out competent soldiers,and to bring back competent human beings.The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 15


RecognitionIn 2009, the Government introduced an official flag-flyingday for Denmark’s deployed. The flag-flying day isobserved every year on 5 September.In 2010, Her Majesty the Queen approved the institutionof a series of new medals, which can be awarded to theindividual veteran as a tangible symbol of recognition.Veterans who are physically injured in international operationsare eligible for the Defence Medal for Injured inService. The Government recognizes psychical injuryon an equal footing with physical injury. Therefore, thefollowing initiative is taken:The psychically injured are recognized on an equalfooting with the physically injured. From now on,the Defence Medal for Injured in Service can beawarded to the psychically injured.Out of respect for the many who have been deployedto areas of conflict and disasters, for those who aredeployed now, those who will be deployed in the future,and for those who have perished, the Government hasdecided to erect a monument in 2011 for Denmark’sinternational effort since 1948. The monument will besituated on the Princess’ Bastion at the Citadel inCopenhagen.The Government recognizes the competencesof the veteransThe competences and experience of the veterans mustbe utilized. The recognition of the veterans’ competences,which have been built up throughout their educationin the Defence and later on fortified in the missionarea, should be developed through real competenceevaluation. Therefore, the following initiative is taken:The basis for real competence evaluation and guidancemust be strengthened. The schools and the YouthEducational Guidance must be informed of the competencesachieved by the veterans in connection with theireducation and deployment. In this way the veteranswill have the greatest possible benefit from theircompetences in connection with further education.Furthermore, with the consent of the individual veterans,the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Defencewill pass on information regarding veterans youngerthan 25 years to the Youth Educational Guidance.In this way the young person in question can receiveoptimal counselling in connection with their choice ofa youth education.Cash benefit beforestarting assistanceIn the autumn of 2010, the Government willsubmit a proposal to ensure that veterans, whohave been deployed for Denmark in a militarymission, can include the sojourn into the prerequisite7 years’ residence on Danish soil outof 8 years in order to be able to receive cashbenefit instead of starting assistance.16The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


The veterans’ competences must be rendered visible.The veterans’ competences must be described andvalue-determined in relation to the public educationalsystem in order to create transparency and comparability,and also to ease the terms of merit rating; especially inrelation to those veterans who leave the Defence. Therefore,the following initiative is taken:The establishment of a project within the frameworkof the National Centre for Competence and QualityDevelopment with the purpose of throwing light on thereal competences of the veterans. On the basis of thereal competence evaluation, the veteran gets a competencecard describing knowledge, skills and competencesin relation to a continued education in the publiceducational system and in relation to employmentpossibilities in the labour market.Tangible proof of deploymentThe effort of the individual veteran in international missionsis being documented. Therefore, the followinginitiative is taken:Veterans from international service will receive aveterans’ card as documentation and recognitionof their international service.Initially, the project will be carried out as a pilot projectfor units of the army.The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 17


SupportThe supporting initiatives of the Danish Defence focusboth on the veterans and their relatives. It is a wide arrayof initiatives that is being offered before, during and afterdeployment.In order to support and follow the soldier and his/herrelatives during the course of a deployment, the Defencehas established a so-called contact officer system.The contact officer is the connection between the Defenceand the relatives, both before, during and after the deployment.The contact officer can be contacted at all times.He is typically the point of contact to access the supportoffers of the Danish Defence.The Government strengthens the offerof support by the DefenceThe offer for support by the Defence is strengthenedby the concentration of the resources. One centre forrecognition and support – one access point. Therefore,the following initiative is taken:A veterans’ centre is established to provide service toveterans, relatives and other actors in the veterans’field. This means that there will be one single accesspoint for enquiries regarding veterans and one singlephone number, which will be available 24/7. Amongother things, the veterans’ centre will:– Respond to enquiries about conditions concerningdeployment to international missions.– Offer counselling on options for support in the publicsector and in the Defence.– Offer comprehensive support, for instance in caseswhere a veteran is struggling with both social andemotional problems.– Lend support in cases where the solution of a veteran’sproblems involves the local or various publicauthorities, or perhaps needs to cross national,regional, and local boundaries.The resources of the Defence in the veterans’ area, suchas educational counsellors, psychologists and socialworkers, are physically put together in the veterans’centre. The centre must ensure that the effort isconstantly developing in all relations regarding therecog nition and support for veterans and their relatives.The veterans’ centre will initiate cooperation across thepublic sector, and will include and, where necessary,consult the National Knowledge and Special AdvisoryFunction. The coordinated effort of the veterans’ centremust be qualified and developed, through research andby exchange of experience with NATO partners, amongothers.Briefings, psychological prevention etc.– also for the relativesIn order to prepare the soldiers for the challenges they maymeet while deployed, the Defence carries out a series ofbriefings before deployment. The purpose of this is toprevent possible emotional reactions, among other things.At the same time, the Defence focuses on the follow-upeffort.During deployment, the soldiers may be involved in variousviolent incidents, which call for a crisis-psychologicaleffort. In order to be able to prevent any mental damage,the heads and leaders are educated by the psychologistsof the Defence in the prevention and handling of strainingincidents.At the same time, there is a focus on the preparationof the individual soldier. All soldiers are briefed beforedeployment on how to prevent any crises and on signsof emotional reactions.The Government wants to improve the effort to preventpsychical reactions.” Therefore, the following initiative istaken:The selection of soldiers for international operations,which at present is carried out by health personnel,is further developed. This includes an evaluation ofa soldier’s preparedness for deployment.The Defence furthermore wants to support the relativesand to recognize their effort. Therefore, a series of theinitiatives of the Defence is aimed at the relatives.18The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


What has already been done?The Defence has carried out a series of initiativeswith substantial impact on the area.An overview of initiatives for recognition andsupport can be found on the homepage ofthe Ministry of Defence www.fmn.dk.An important part of the support for the relatives is briefingsregarding the mission, which the soldier is to bedeployed to, and regarding the options for support offeredto the relatives. These briefings are carried out in connectionwith meetings for the relatives, both before and duringdeployment. This is where the relatives are informed of thecurrent mission, and any issues the relatives should beaware of. The relatives meet with the contact officer, andthey are briefed about typical emotional reactions, optionsfor support, family networks, and contact options in connectionwith any need for support.The children of deployed personnel may be heavily affectedby the deployment, and by the worries and altered reactionsof the partner left behind. Therefore, the childrenmay need special support. The effort to support thechildren, including the effect of the established supportgroups for children, must be examined. Therefore, thefollowing initiative is taken:The effect of the deployment on partner and childrenwill be examined with a view to a possible increase inthe support for the relatives.The Government strengthens knowledgeand preventionIn order to continuously be able to target and optimizethe effort in the veterans’ area, it must be further developedon the basis of exact knowledge from scientific andsystematic follow-up on the experience of the Defenceand international research. Therefore, the followinginitiative is taken:A permanent knowledge centre is established. Knowledgeregarding veterans’ conditions must be put to usefor, among other things, the prevention of damage, theevaluation and development of focus areas, and thecooperation with external research institutions. Thus,the effort for veterans and their relatives is carried outon an increasingly qualified basis.The Government increases the follow-up effortThe Defence carries out a homecoming project for veteransfrom Afghanistan. In the project, called ‘Acclimati zationand Reintegration’, the unit is kept together for athree months’ period of time after homecoming. In thisway, the veterans get the possibility of dealing with theexperiences together. At the same time, the veteransget used to the transition to civilian life. The veterans alsoget the possibility to identify their competences, and arethus prepared to apply for a civilian job, an educationor a position in the Defence.In order to counter any emotional reactions, the Defencehas initiated a series of other follow-up initiatives insupport of returned veterans.For instance, veterans from tough missions must attendan interview with a psychologist upon homecoming inorder to determine whether there is a need for support.After homecoming, the Defence carries out homecomingmeetings for the formerly deployed units. Here, the soldiershave the possibility to meet old buddies and talkabout their experiences. At the same time, the Defenceis able to follow up on any emotional reactions with theveterans.Six months after the end of a mission, the veteranreceives a questionnaire, requesting replies to theveteran’s experiences and reactions after homecoming.The psychologists of the Defence address those veterans,whose replies indicate signs of need for support.No citizens are being forced to receive psychologicalor psychiatric help. However, emotionally traumatizedveterans must be contacted to a greater extent thanbefore and be offered help. Therefore, the followinginitiatives are taken:There will be an active follow-up on veterans, whoseemployment with the defence has ended. The aim isto keep in contact with veterans within the first yearsafter their transition to civilian life.The Defence will strengthen selected veterans’ abilityto render buddy support. The framework for buddysupport are clearly defined, and in such a way thatsocial and medical personnel of the Defence will beinvolved whenever needed.The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 19


The Government increases the supportfor the injured soldierThe Defence is employer for the deployed soldiers.Among other things, the employer’s responsibility isexecuted through a series of initiatives for the benefit ofthe employees. Injured veterans often have special needsfor support. Therefore, the Defence has a natural responsibilityto help those veterans who have been injured inservice for Denmark.The Defence offers support to those veterans who havesuffered injury during deployment. The efforts of doctors,psychologists, legal advisers, contact officers and othersare coordinated. At the same time, the Defence helpsthe injured veteran to get an overview of the possibilitiesfor receiving support from the public system, in the formof adjustment of the lay-out of home and workplace,industrial injury compensation, and more.Support for the injured veteran must be based on theindividual situation, in order that the veteran is given thebest possible terms for rehabilitation.Severely physically injured veterans have often sufferedvery complicated and comprehensive injuries, whichdemand long periods of rehabilitation. The Governmentwants to offer the best possible treatment and the bestpossible conditions for rehabilitation. An effort which willalso benefit other injured citizens.Rehabilitation forthe physically injuredBy means of donations, private funds haveboosted the specialized rehabilitation for thephysically injured veterans (and other patients)at the National Hospital. Among other things,the donations secure the acquisition of modernphysiotherapeutic and occupation-therapeuticrehabilitation equipment.Some veterans, who suffer injuries, for instance by improvisedexplosive devices, may risk amputations as a resultof their injuries. Before their injuries, the veterans haveengaged in intensive physical training, and to the greatestextent they must get back the possibility to take up anactive life of athletics. Therefore, the Government wantsto take the following initiative:A significantly increased effort for the physically injured.More personnel are to be employed at the departmentsof the National Hospital involved in the rehabilitationof injured soldiers, and further retraining equipment isprocured. The competences of Danish therapists inthe area of rehabilitation of injured veterans must bestrengthened through exchange of experience with foreigntherapists. In the setting of the Defence, veteranswith amputations will be offered sports artificial limbs,so that injured soldiers may again take up an active lifeof athletics according to their own wishes and needs.With a view to increasing the access to knowledge ofthe special conditions of injured veterans, the followinginitiatives are taken:The veterans will be a part of the target group of theNational Knowledge and Special Advisory Function(VISO). The VISO is a support function for citizens, localauthorities, and special institutions alike, which may allturn to the VISO for special counselling and help forclearing up problems in the social vocational area.In the VISO, there are professional competences andspecialized knowledge in this area. Therefore, the VISOcan serve as a support function for local authorities andspecial institutions in cases, where the individualmunicipality has no established expertise. The citizensmay also address the VISO directly. By including theveterans in the VISO target group, it is ensured that aveteran with an especially complicated need is met withthe highest expertise, regardless of whether the veteranlives and works in Northern Jutland or on Bornholm.At the same time, the veterans’ centre can profit fromthe knowledge of the VISO in relevant cases.20The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


Education in veterans’ conditions is carried out for localcaseworkers and employees of the district psychiatry.The education is organized to include experience fromlocal authorities and the health system. The educationis carried out in the setting of the new veterans’ centre.Furthermore, digital access to examples of goodpractice is established, so that the local job centres,the social psychiatry and others may draw on existingknowledge.Free psychological assistance– also for the relativesThe Defence offers psychological assistance to allvete rans, who in an international mission have beenexposed to traumatizing events, or are having problemsreadjusting to everyday life after a deployment. This offerhas no period of limitation, and it is also valid for alreadydischarged veterans. The offer furthermore includes therelatives of the veterans. In addition to this, the psychologistsoffer couples’ therapy for the veterans and theirrelatives, as a deployment may be a severe strain ona relationship.The offer for psychological assistance is valid for treatmentby the psychologists of the Defence in Copenhagen,and also for treatment by one of the 50 or soprivately practising psychologists around the country,who are connected to the network of the Defence.The Government expands the accessto psychiatric special knowledgeSome emotionally traumatized veterans may needpsychiatric treatment. Today, the highly specialized psychiatrictreatment is centralized at the National Hospital.The Defence has made an agreement with the Crisis andCatastrophe Centre in Copenhagen for evaluation andpossible treatment of soldiers with post-traumatic stressreactions.The limited accessibility is a problem for the patients.Therefore, the following initiatives are taken:A highly specialized offer is developed and establishedin the hospital service targeting patients with psychiatricdisorders, primarily severe post-traumatic stress reactionsas a result of service-related strain in connectionwith deployment.Highly specialized offers targeting the patient group areestablished in several locations around the country inconnection with existing multi-branching psychiatricallyspecialized functions in the hospital service.The access of emotionally traumatized veterans to supportfrom a psychologist or a social worker is improved,so that more people in need of support can use theexisting options. The following initiative is taken:The access to consultation with one of the socialworkers, psychologists or network psychologists ofthe Defence is improved. In this connection, referralconsul tations are to be possible elsewhere than in theestablishments of the Defence, for instance in the newveterans’ homes.Outreach effortIn 2007, the Defence sent out abt. 20,000 lettersto formerly deployed persons. Among otherthings, the purpose was to call their attentionto the time-unlimited possibility for support fromthe psychologists of the Defence. Subsequently,200 veterans indicated a need for follow-upsupport from psychologists.The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 21


This is what we do today:When a soldier is seriously injuredor perishesThe special compensation and indemnificationsystem of the Danish Defence:100 per cent permanent handicap 3,653,500 DKKLoss of providerLoss of non-provider(compensation for the estate)2,436,000 DKK1,216,500 DKKExample:A soldier with an annual salary of 275,000 DKK loses bothlegs in battle and suffers injury to his stomach. Handicapdegree 120 per cent and loss of earning capability 50 percent.Law on industrial injury insuranceDefenceTotal (tax exempt)902,400 DKK3,653,500 DKK4,555,900 DKKCompensation for loss of earning capability. The veteranis awarded a loss of earning capability of 50 per cent.Until his/her 67th year of age, he/she will receive a monthlytaxable amount of 9,167 DKK.Economic securityIn addition to the ordinary compensation and indemnificationaccording to the law on industrial injury insuranceand the accord on group life insurances, the soldiersdeployed to international operations are covered by thespecial indemnity and compensation arrangement ofthe Defence. This arrangement has been established,because it can be very difficult for the individual soldierto get insurance in connection with deployment to warzones. The main purpose of the arrangement is to securethe soldier or the soldier’s family in the event of the soldierdying or getting injured during deployment. The insurancesum will be paid independently of ordinary industrial injuryinsurances and any other private insurance.Handicap degrees for psychical injuryare investigatedPsychically injured veterans live with special inconveniencesand problems. Therefore, the Government takesthe following initiative:The industrial injury authority investigates, whetherthere is a need for adjustment of the handicap degreesof psychically injured veterans and others.22The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


The voluntary and occupationalorganizationsThe Government recognizes the huge and importanteffort, which is made by volunteers, among others.As an example, in the setting of the many voluntary associationsand the occupational organizations, veteransare able to share their experiences with other veterans,who know the context and understand the specialproblems that may arise after a deployment. In additionto this, it is a great sign of recognition of the veteransthat so many people offer their help unselfishly.Some tasks are best dealt with in another context, forinstance in cases where a former employer or publicauthorities are altogether opted out. In these cases,the volunteers and the organizations have an importantfunction in relation to making contact to those veterans,who withdraw from the established offers. This contactgives an opportunity to help the injured veteran moveon to professional treatment.Among other things, the Government’s coming strategyfor civilian society will focus on strengthening the frameworkfor cooperation between the voluntary socialorganizations, the public sector and the private sector.The Government is aware of the potential of includingcivilian society in the solution of social problems inrelation to target groups, such as the psychically injuredveterans.Support and coordination of the effort ofvoluntary and occupational organizationsThe effort of voluntary and occupational organizations issupported and coordinated for the benefit of the veteransand their relatives. Therefore, the following initiatives aretaken:The voluntary organizations are given better possibilitiesto coordinate their efforts. A veterans’ secretariat isestablished, in order to optimize the possibility ofsolving major tasks across the various associations,among other things. The veterans’ secretariat will beable to coordinate tasks, such as the collection anddistribution of sponsorships.Homepages in the Defence and in voluntary organizationsare coordinated to give a better overview. At thesame time, the coordinated information will be putto use as an information database for other publicauthorities.EvaluationThe veterans’ area is complex, especially concerningthe conditions for the psychically injured veterans.New knowledge in this field is constantly optimizingthe combined effort. The effort in the veterans’ areawill be continuously developed, and the veterans’ policywill be evaluated after two years. In connection withthe evaluation, a conference will be held with theparticipation of representatives for the occupationalorganizations and the voluntary actors, among others.This is what we do today:Veterans’ homesWith support from the Defence and funds,among others, three veterans’ homes havebeen established. Here, the veterans and theirrelatives can meet. Volunteers with connectionsto army or naval associations, and with aninterest in the matter, manage the day-to-dayrunning of the homes (since 2010).The veterans’ policy of the Danish government 23


New Initiatives inthe Government’s Veterans’ Policy• A veterans’ centre will be established to coordinatethe effort for veterans and their relatives.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• A veterans’ secretariat will be established to supportvoluntary organizations.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• A knowledge centre will be established.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Enhanced effort for the physically injured.Responsibility: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Healthand Ministry of Defence• Enhanced treatment for the psychically injuredveterans.Responsibility: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Health• Enhanced selection of soldiers for deployment.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Veterans are to be a part of the target group forthe National Knowledge and Special AdvisoryFunction (VISO).Responsibility: Ministry of Social Affairs• Education of municipal caseworkers in the conditionsof the veterans.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Enhanced basis for real competence evaluation andguidance.Responsibility: Ministry of Education and Ministryof Defence• Issuance of competence cards.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Improved access to psychologists and social workers.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Improved buddy support. Responsibility:Ministry of Defence• Enhanced outreach effort towards formerly employedveterans.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Examination of the influence of deployment on partnerand children.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• One single access point to web-based information.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• 24/7 access to phone support and counselling.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Investigation in the area of consultative percentages ofpermanent disability from psychical injury for veteransand others.Responsibility: Ministry of Employment• Recognition of equality of the physically and psychicallyinjured.Responsibility: Ministry of Defence• Issue of veterans’ card as a proof of identity.Responsibility: Ministry of DefenceRead more about the veterans’ policy onthe homepage of the Danish Ministry of Defence:www.fmn.dk24The veterans’ policy of the Danish government


Recognition and supportThe veterans’ policy of the Danish GovernmentOctober 2010:39For any enquiry regarding this publication,please contact:Danish Ministry of DefenceHolmens Kanal 42DK-1060 CopenhagenDenmark+45 33 92 33 20fmn@fmn.dkwww.fmn.dkISBN electronic version978-87-92480-94-1Design BGRAPHICPhotos Danish DefenceThe publication can be downloaded atwww.fmn.dk

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