Open Arms available day or night this holiday season

The end of year is a time with lots to look forward to. Hanging out with friends and family, time off from work, and days spent relaxing and doing what we love.

But for some, it can be a difficult time of year. For those in the veteran community, being posted away from family and friends, coping with mental distress, or missing a loved one can make this a lonely or stressful period.

Factors outside of our control may also get us down. This might include the rising cost of living, and ongoing news reporting related to veteran issues.

If you know someone in the veteran community that might be struggling at this time of year, reach out and see how they’re doing. Just letting someone know that you care can make a big difference to their wellbeing.

Our telephone line is available day or night throughout the holiday period, and staffed by mental health professionals who understand the veteran experience. Anyone concerned about how they’re coping during this period is encouraged to reach out for free support at any time, day or night - 1800 011 046.

Safe Zone Support - 1800 142 072 - is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service offers 24/7 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.

If you require urgent assistance, please call 000. If you are unwell, please contact your local doctor or go to your nearest hospital.

Open Arms centres will be closed for the Christmas / New Year period from Saturday 23 December 2023 to Monday 1 January 2024 inclusive, and will re-open on Tuesday 2 January 2024. For further mental health information and self-help tools visit this page or follow Open Arms on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

To find out more about eligibility for our services click here, and to find out about what to expect when you contact us, click here.

For information on other DVA service availability throughout the 2023 holiday season, visit

From everyone at Open Arms, we wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Other support services:

Defence Family Helpline (1800 624 608), available 24/7 or online at 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.

Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) is available 24/7 or online at 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.

If you served one day in the ADF or are the family member of someone who has, Open Arms is here for you.