Confidentiality and privacy

Open Arms provides free and confidential counselling. Open Arms is committed to preserving and upholding your rights to privacy and confidentiality. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Open Arms is a counselling service administered by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA). When we collect personal information for the purpose of providing you with Open Arms counselling services it is stored separately from other DVA records.

Under normal circumstances your clinical information will not be released to other government agencies or external parties without your consent. Your clinical information stored within Open Arms will not be accessed by any areas of DVA that assess claims. 

Your information may only be shared under exceptional circumstances or in accordance with the law. This occurs where your safety or the safety of others is at serious risk, in serious criminal matters, or in response to a court direction.

Department of Defence

Information is not shared with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) without your consent.

If you are a member of the ADF and you have been referred through your ADF medical officer or Defence psychologist, periodic reports regarding your treatment may be provided to the ADF Referring Authority with your consent.

Confidential record keeping

Open Arms records are stored securely, and every effort is made to ensure that your counselling sessions and contact with us remains confidential.

Open Arms keeps confidential notes and reports on your counselling, peer support and group program attendance so we can provide you with appropriate professional help.

Children

For minors, Open Arms does not need to seek consent from a parent/legal guardian where the minor is competent to provide consent for themselves. Open Arms may not seek consent from a parent/legal guardian where doing so might put the minor at risk.

The young person’s maturity and their preferences regarding parental involvement will be considered prior to services being provided.

Disclosure of information to parents

Minors have the same right to confidentiality in counselling as adults. Open Arms may disclose relevant information about minors to their parents or legal guardians, with consent or as otherwise appropriate. Such a decision to disclose will take into account the ability of the minor to consent to the disclosure, the circumstances (including the safety of the minor) and any statutory or legal obligations. 

Open Arms will inform the young person what information will be disclosed.

Read our privacy policy

Learn more about how Open Arms manages personal information

 

  • work with us

    Open Arms counselling

    Open Arms counsellors and staff have an understanding of veteran and military culture that assists them to deliver specialised support and care to members of this community.
  • ex serviceman and family

    Eligibility

    If you have served in the ADF, you, your partner and your children can access support through Open Arms.
  • contact

    Contact us / feedback

    If you are looking for counselling or support services, call us any time on 1800-011-046.