Model of Care

Open Arms is proud of its history as a service established by Vietnam veterans who had  lived experience of the unique nature of military service and its impact on veterans and families. A group of Vietnam veterans lobbied government to provide professional support, with the result that in 1982 the Australian Government agreed to fund the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service. In subsequent years eligibility was expanded to include all current and former serving members of the ADF and their families and so the name of the service was changed to Open Arms.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (Open Arms) is a leading provider of military-aware and trauma-informed mental health and counselling services to Australia’s military community. As a service of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), we provide mental health counselling, relationship counselling, peer support services and group programs for people with Australian Defence Force (ADF) service (current and former serving members) and their immediate families. Anyone who has served at least one day in the ADF and their immediate family are eligible for Open Arms services.

Open Arms Model of Care represents a honing of how the service has evolved over its 40-year history, and clearly defines what clients can expect when they reach out for support. The Model of Care defines the remit of Open Arms as a specialist service, focusing on delivery of military aware and trauma informed care, rather than replicating more generalist services. This Model of Care was developed with awareness of Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide Interim Report recommendations.

The full Open Arms Model of Care is accessible as a PDF or as a DOC