Mental health support services
On this page
When you may need support
Support can help you develop skills to manage:
- anxiety and depression
- stress or anger
- poor sleep
- social isolation
- 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:
- refer you to the right medical professionals
- provide you with a comprehensive Veteran Health Check
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:
- contacting Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling on 1800 011 046
- seeing your GP for a referral to a psychologist or other mental health professional
Other services available through Open Arms include:
- peer support
- treatment programs and workshops
- suicide prevention and resilience training
- crisis accommodation support
Try some self-help tools
Open Arms offers a range of digital self-help resources to help you stay healthy, recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and understand the support available to live your best life.Back to top
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 (formerly VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling 24/7 to partners and children of those who have served. Call Open Arms on 1800 011 046.
- 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
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 provides resources and links to a variety of websites and apps to support veteran mental health and wellbeing
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.
Connect with an Ex-service organisation in your local area. These organisations may be able to provide you with support and resources.
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.Back to top