Holiday support services

Serving and ex-serving personnel Veterans and their families have access to a range of support options from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defence over this Christmas and Holiday Period.

Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) also provide a critical role in supporting our people and their families. This includes support for mental health, medical, compensation and income support, transition to civilian life, and, in some cases, legal support.

Support services available this Holiday period:

  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.au. Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. We are open 24/7 throughout the Christmas and Holiday period. The Open Arms website provides information on living well as well as many self-help tools to support you during this period.
  • Defence Family Helpline (1800 624 608), available 24/7 or online at www.defence.gov.au/dco/defence-helpline.asp. The Helpline is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
  • All-hours Support Line (1800 628 036), available 24/7. This is a confidential telephone service that provides access to mental health advice and referral for ADF personnel and their families.
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
  • DVA (1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)) is available for current and former serving ADF personnel and their families who may wish to access advice, claims and support services provided by DVA.
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded. When you call Safe Zone Support, it is up to you how much or how little personal information you share. For more information please visit the Safe Zone Support web page.
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) is available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • Kids Helpline (1800 551 800), Kids Helpline is Australia’s free (even from a mobile), confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
  • Head to Health has more than 500 digital resources to support your wellbeing and mental health. This national resource also has a section for serving and ex-serving ADF.