Sadly, some families of serving members and veterans have to deal with the loss of their loved one. Strategies and assistance for coping with your loss can help get you through these difficult times when someone has died.

Losing a loved one

A family may have lost a loved one during training or a deployment, or their loss may have come years after service from a service-related injury, physical illness or suicide.

For younger families, losing a loved one can be particularly difficult, especially if the loss happens under unexpected circumstances.

As well as intense grief, families can often face unexpected problems like financial troubles or difficulties adapting to being a single-parent household.

For many families, grief may still be present years after the veteran has died. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety associated with death may also persist, leaving the surviving family members struggling to support each other.

Effects of suicide

Recent research shows that younger Australian ex-serving male veterans are at higher risk of suicide compared with other Australian men of the same age.

Suicide is enormously stressful on the family left behind. It can result in deep confusion about why it happened, and anger that a parent, spouse or child has taken their own life.

If you are a veteran, or the family member of a veteran, counselling is available to help you deal with grief.

Take action

Dealing with grief

Where there has been a death of a service person, access to counselling and support through Open Arms is extended to the wider family, including the service persons' parents and siblings.

Open Arms can provide confidential one-on-one counselling to talk through any issue you or your family may be dealing with. Call 1800 011 046.

See also

  • Grief and loss image


    There are no right or wrong ways to grieve, but we can help you better manage your grief to find some resolution and acceptance.
  • Operation life friends

    Suicide bereavement

    If someone close to you or someone you know has recently died by suicide, you may be experiencing a range of difficult emotions such as shock, disbelief or even anger.
  • 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.