Helping you and your family

As a partner or family member of a serving or ex-serving member, a range of support services are available to help you and your family.

Managing you and your family's wellbeing

If you are caring for someone, it's important to look after your own mental health and wellbeing as well. 

As a partner of a veteran, you have access to support services, including:

  • Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS). Open Arms provides free and confidential counselling to partners and children of those who have served. You can call 24/7 on 1800 011 046.
  • Your GP. Your GP can help you develop a mental healthcare plan if you or a family member is struggling.
  • Relationships Australia offers a broad range of services to individuals, families and communities across the country such as counselling, mediation, and family dispute resolution. Contact your state-based Relationships Australia service on 1300 364 277.

A range of online self-help programs are also available:

  • The High Res app offers interactive tools and self-help resources to help serving and ex-serving ADF members and their families manage stress and build resilience.
  • Head to health provides access to information about mental healthcare services, as well as links to online self-help programs for families, children and parents.

Support for families of serving Defence members

ForceNet provides a secure means for Defence families to access authoritative information on Defence matters. ForceNet also connects families with the service related to their sponsoring Defence member - such as Defence Community Organisation and Defence Families of Australia.

Defence Families Australia provides information, advocacy and advice to Defence families.

Services for families of serving members are available through Defence Community Organisation (DCO), including a family resilience program (“Family SMART" and the 24-hour Defence Family Helpline (call 1800 624 608).

Programs that help people address their violent behaviour

Family violence prevention programs are run by Relationships Australia and help people deal with violence and/or abuse issues in their relationships, including family violence programs for perpetrators.

You can also call the national domestic violence hotline on 1800 200 526 if you are worried about you or your families situation.

See also

  • Mental health booklets

    These booklets aim to provide practical information for those affected by mental health or trauma, including resources to support the wellbeing of the family member and strengthen relationships within the family unit.
  • Treatment programs and workshops

    Open Arms offers group treatment programs and educational workshops, relationship retreats, and suicide prevention workshops.
  • Counselling

    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.