Community and peer program

The Open Arms Community and Peer Program involves ‘lived experience’ peers working collaboratively with veterans, family supports, community agencies and mental health clinicians. Community and Peer Advisors complement the counselling and group program services offered by Open Arms social workers and psychologists to provide a more holistic and therapeutic experience for clients.

Community and Peer Advisors draw on their own experiences with both the military and the mental health service system when working with clients to provide insights and support to veterans with complex care needs. Community and Peer Advisors can provide intensive case management and referral for difficult post-service issues, including issues related to finances, relationships, employment, physical health, mental health, and thoughts of suicide.

Community and Peer Advisors have an excellent understanding of the local support services. They work to enable the individual, instil confidence, help overcome barriers and provide access to support services through: 

  1. Community Engagement
    • Giving presentations
    • Visiting service providers
    • Attending community meetings and forums
    • Creating engagement opportunities, e.g. wheelchair basketball and coffee shop outings
  2. Direct Client Services
    • Conducting intake (outreach based), e.g. at hospitals and crisis accommodation
    • Helping with case management, e.g. linking to services
    • Providing peer support, e.g. using lived experience to connect 1:1 and build hope
  3. Peer Network
    • Organising monthly educational and networking meetings
    • Providing group programs, e.g. Peer Mentor Training
    • Engagement on Facebook educational page

Open Arms currently have Community and Peer Advisors operating in Open Arms’ Townsville, Sydney and Canberra offices, with more sites to follow.

To learn more about how the Community and Peer Program could help you, or to become involved, call Open Arms on 1800 011 046.