Getting help for yourself

If you are feeling down and hopeless it can be really hard to ask for help. You may have thoughts about suicide as a solution to your problems. If you are having suicidal thoughts please tell someone you trust. It is important to remember that help and support are available. For immediate help when life may be in danger, call 000.

Staying calm

Our brains tend to flood in crisis and make it difficult to think clearly. The first thing to do is regain control and then you can think things through.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or not sure what to do, try Staying Calm to help you regain control of your thoughts and help you think things through. Once you have watched or read 'Staying calm' you may be able to think about how you are going to talk to someone that you trust.

How to talk to someone you trust

If you decide to talk to someone, here are some suggestions that might help:

  1. Find someone you trust. Choose someone you can trust e.g. partner, friend, family member, doctor or Open Arms counsellor on 1800 011 046. It is important to remember that help and support are available.
  2. Plan to have a talk. Plan a time to talk without interruptions or make an appointment. Remember to tell the person you are going to talk to that it is important.
  3. Take someone with you to a health professional. Consider taking someone you trust with you to an appointment with a doctor or counsellor.
  4. Be honest. Plan what you are going to say and be honest. Discuss ideas that could help your situation.
  5. Listen. Listen to what your friend, partner or counsellor is saying in response. Remember that they want you to feel better.
  6. Find out more. Find out more about suicide prevention and how to protect yourself against suicide

DVA services

DVA can pay for treatment for any mental health condition without the need for the condition to be accepted as related to service. This is known as non-liability health care and is available to anyone who has served as a permanent member of the ADF.

DVA can pay for your treatment for mental health conditions before, during, or after you make a compensation claim, or if you never make a compensation claim.

Call DVA on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or visit the DVA website to find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

Support groups

Support groups for the ex-service community exist in many areas and can be conducted face to face or on line. They are organised to provide valuable peer support to members as they experience challenges in their lives. Support groups can be a protective factor in suicide prevention by connecting people at risk with others within their community who have lived through or are experiencing similar challenges.

See also

  • two men running

    Living well

    A range of services are available to the current and ex-serving community and their families to stay healthy.
  • Treatment programs and workshops

    Open Arms range of group activities includes both face to face group treatment programs and online groups.
  • call us 1800 011 046


    Open Arms can provide individual, couple and family counselling to help improve your resilience, as well as enhance your mental health and wellbeing. Call 1800-011-046 for free and confidential 24/7 support.