Open Arms set to expand with $5 million budget boost

The Australian Government has allocated $5.0 million in this year’s budget to expand Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling mental health and suicide prevention services. Specifically, we are expanding our Community and Peer team and introducing Community and Peer-led web-based support. We are also developing a new framework that will help us assess the clinical and wellbeing outcomes of our clients, and monitor the performance of our service overall.

Community and Peer teams, comprised of clinicians and peer workers with lived experience of mental health issues and the ADF, are a key pillar of our services. Our Community and Peer Engagement will be expanded to Nowra and Maryborough, with the team in Nowra providing support to the planned Veteran Wellbeing Centre.

The introduction of web-based forums, conducted by the Community and Peer Teams, will also enhance Open Arms’ ability to provide support to veterans and their families who are geographically or socially isolated.

Enhancing our digital mental health capabilities will improve the accessibility of support for veterans and their families, specifically those who may be vulnerable or at-risk, bereaved by suicide or living with chronic trauma.

In response to a recommendation from the Productivity Commission report, A Better Way to Support Veterans, Open Arms will develop an Outcomes Monitoring Framework to ensure that services provided are effective and of a high quality. This framework will allow us to benchmark against other state and community services.

For more information on this new initiative visit: Budget 2020-21