Frequently Asked Questions

Knowing what to expect when you reach out to Open Arms for support can be a helpful way to prepare for a new experience, or to better understand the support you are already receiving.

When you become an Open Arms client, a mental health professional will work with you to determine which of Open Arms’ services might suit you best. As part of that process, there might be some words or expressions that are unfamiliar.

This page is intended to help you understand some new or unfamiliar terms, and how they relate to the support Open Arms provides.

What is an Episode of Care?

Open Arms offers a range of different support options to help you and your family with your mental health and wellbeing. These support options might include counselling, peer support, group programs, or complex care coordination. You might take part in a number of these options as part of your support with Open Arms.

Each support option you participate in is called an Episode of Care. For example, taking part in counselling is an episode of care. Taking part in peer support is also an episode of care. You can read more about the different support options Open Arms offers here.

Each episode of care you take part in will aim to support you with specific concerns related to your mental health and wellbeing, and aid your long term recovery. When a particular Episode of Care is complete, you may still be accessing other services or need other additional support from Open Arms.

Episodes of Care are a common way that health services operate, and are focused on supporting your wellbeing.


Can I only receive a limited number of counselling sessions through Open Arms?

When someone engages with us for counselling, the support is recovery oriented, and will have a beginning, middle, and end. When you engage with us, you can be sure that our priority is your health, wellbeing and independence.

We understand that recovery is different for everyone. Whilst many people who engage with us will meet their recovery goals within a limited number of counselling sessions, we won't limit your support where longer is needed and is considered appropriate.

You might also consider a different kind of support when you have completed your counselling sessions. This might include peer support or a group treatment program.

To ensure the best possible outcome for you, we will continue to assess our clients on a case by case basis.

What is Open Arms' 'Model of Care'?

Our Model of Care outlines what you can expect from us when you reach out to us for support. It is part of what makes us a service focused on the delivery of mental health and wellbeing support to the veteran and family community.

Our Model of Care defines the remit of Open Arms as a specialist service, focusing on delivery of military aware and trauma informed care rather than replicating more generalist services.

And it outlines how we work in partnerships with health systems, including GPs and psychiatrists, to ensure that our mental health and wellbeing programs are goal-based and outcome focused with a beginning, a middle, and end.

You can read more about our Model of Care here.


What is a Service file? 
When you become an Open Arms client an individual profile is created for you in our system. 
Even if you end your support arrangements with Open Arms, your individual profile will be available should you choose to return. 
You will have a service file for each different type of service you receive from Open Arms. This might be counselling, peer support, or participation in a group program.
A service file is opened when you are allocated to a clinician or peer, and is closed when you discontinue that particular support option. 
If you engage with Open Arms after some time and your circumstances have changed, we may need to assess you again to ensure we fully understand your situation and any changed needs you might have.

To find out more about how Open Arms can support you, contact us at any time, any day of the year.