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Factsheet HSV99 - Mental Health Support Services


This Factsheet outlines mental health services for the veteran and ex-service community.

When you may need support

Support can help you develop skills to manage:

  • anxiety and depression
  • stress or anger
  • trauma
  • poor sleep
  • social isolation
  • addiction
  • relationship challenges
  • grief and loss
  • dealing with change

Options to support your mental health and wellbeing

If you have served at least one day in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), including reservists, several options are available to support your mental health and wellbeing.

Consult a general practitioner (GP)

Start by talking to your GP.  Your GP can:

Talk to a mental health professional

If you have served at least one day in the ADF, you can access free mental health care.  You may be able to access professional counselling by:

Try some self-help tools

At Ease is our health and wellbeing portal. AT-Ease helps you stay healthy, recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and understand the available support to help you live your best life.

Support and services for your family

If you are supporting someone you care for, it's important to also look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling (formally VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling 24/7 to partners and children of those who have served. Call Open Arms on At Ease for families provides a range of support services and self-help tools for families of the ex-serving community.

Guidance and counselling for students provides support for students with issues affecting their study progress.

Counselling and support for families is provided to a veteran's family to assist with managing challenging life situations.

Other support services

Lifeline Australia

Provides free support services if you are in crisis and need to talk to someone.


Provides 24-hour counselling services to help you cope with sexual assault or violence.

Head to Health

Head to Health provides resources and links to a variety of websites and apps to support veteran mental health and wellbeing.

Joint Health Command

The ADF Health & Wellbeing Portal 'Fighting Fit' directs you to a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and support.

Ex-service organisations

Connect with an Ex-service organisation in your local area. These organisations may be able to provide you with support and resources.

Relationships Australia

Offers a broad range of services to individuals, families and communities across the country such as counselling, mediation, and family dispute resolution. Contact your state-based Relationships Australia service on 1300 364 277.

Other help that may be available

Mental health injury or condition that relates to your service

If you believe your mental health condition is service-related, you can make a claim for extra benefits.

Medical treatment and counselling for F-111 maintenance workers

Help with treatment costs and counselling services if you were involved in F-111 deseal/reseal and other fuel tank maintenance programs.

Veteran Payment

Provides you with a regular income while we work on your claim for a mental health condition.

Faster access to Incapacity Payments

We may be able to help you access Incapacity Payments faster if you have certain accepted mental health conidtions.

Lump Sum Advance

You can ask us to pay some of your pension or Income Support Supplement early as a lump sum.

Crisis Payment

A one off payment to help with severe financial hardship and difficult circumstances.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254*


DVA Website:

Factsheet Website:

*Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms


The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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23 August 2019