Veteran and Family Counselling Centre Officially Opens in Melbourne
The Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite, officially opened the Open Arms office in the Melbourne CBD on Friday 18 November, giving veterans and families’ updated facilities including private counselling suites and spaces for peer support sessions, group programs and workshops.
Staff and ex-service organisation (ESO) representatives joined the Assistant Minister to celebrate the occasion, which included the launch of a new video celebrating Open Arms 40th Anniversary. You can watch the video here Open Arms - 40 Years Supporting the Veteran Community.
Over the past 40 years of operation, Open Arms has provided more than 2 million free mental health counselling sessions to over 300,000 veterans and veteran family members since it was first established in 1982.
Last financial year, 40,000 veterans and family members accessed Open Arms’ services nationwide and with the Melbourne office providing over 10,000 counselling sessions in the same period.
The most common reason a veteran or a family member will contact Open Arms today is to gain help in managing anxiety. But there are range of reasons to seek help, from managing anger or seeking help with depression. Anyone who is dealing with mental ill-health is encouraged to reach out for support.
Founded by veterans for veterans, counsellors and staff have an understanding of veteran and military culture, which assists in the delivery of support and care in the form of treatment programs, workshops, peer support and a range of self-help tools to the veteran community.
Many Open Arms staff are veterans, or come from veteran families themselves. When someone contacts Open Arms, they can be confident they are going to be supported by someone who understands the military experience.
If you’re looking for counselling and support services for yourself, or your immediate family, you can call Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling 24/7 on 1800 011 046 for free and confidential advice. For more information, visit the Open Arms website www.openarms.gov.au.