What to expect

Open Arms specialises in giving you access to free face-to-face counselling as soon as possible. We are committed to your privacy and confidentiality and will not share information with DVA without your consent. 

Step 1: call 1800 011 046

Help is available 24 hours a day.

  • Call during business hours. We will listen to your story and work out how we can best help you. 
  • Call after-hours. Outside local business hours, your call will be answered by one of our counsellors, who can help if you are feeling angry, upset, anxious, depressed or having thoughts of self-harm.

    If needed, the after-hours counsellor will arrange for your local Open Arms centre to contact you the next business day to arrange an intake interview.

We have counsellors in major city centres and outreach counsellors that service all of Australia.

Step 2: intake interview – understanding your needs

The intake interview identifies the most appropriate service to meet your needs.

A counsellor will ask you a number of questions, including why you would like assistance. This usually takes 20-30 minutes. The counsellor will check your eligibility to use Open Arms and how our service can meet your needs.

Step 3: referral to specialist services

At the end of the intake interview, we will refer you to the best service for you. This could be an Open Arms counsellor, in which case we may tell you who your counsellor is straight away or you may be notified by phone within 48-72 hours.

We may also refer you to specialist services or treatment programs provided by other organisations.

We understand that your situation is unique to you and some issues are more difficult than others.  Our case management service can help address multiple issues impacting mental health.

Step 4: attend counselling, group program or training course

Your counsellor may be located in our Open Arms offices or they could be one of our community-based outreach counsellors.

Group programs and training courses are generally held at an Open Arms office.

Call us

To find out how Open Arms can help you, call 1800 011 046.

See also

  • 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


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

    Confidentiality and privacy

    Open Arms offers free and confidential counselling, and in some circumstances working with the DVA or ADF.