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About finding professional care

Click on the headings below to find different professional services and care information for both ex-serving members, veterans and family and currently serving Defence members.

If you are in crisis

  • Call 000 to be connected to emergency responses
  • Go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department

If you want to talk

  • Call the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) on 1800 011 046. During business hours you will be transferred to the nearest VVCS office in your state. After hours you will be connected with professional telephone counsellors at Veterans Line for immediate assistance, and you can opt to be connected to your local VVCS office for follow-up support.

To access treatment for mental health conditions

  • DVA can pay for treatment for any mental health conditions without the need for the conditions to be accepted as related to service. This is known as non-liability health care. Non-liability health care is available to anyone who has served one day of full-time service in the ADF.
  • DVA can pay for your treatment for these mental health conditions before, during, or after you make a compensation claim, or if you never make a compensation claim.
  • Call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 or visit www.dva.gov.au/nlhc to find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

To locate a mental health provider

  • The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service specialises in supporting Defence members, ex-serving members, veterans and their families with individual and group based treatment options. Call the VVCS 24/7 on 1800 011 046 for more information.
  • • To access a private mental health provider, your best place to start is with your GP, who can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health social worker, or mental health occupational therapist, according to your need.
  • To find a psychologist you can also use the Australian Psychological Society’s Find a Psychologist website.
  • You can also find a list of mental health social workers at the Australian Association of Social Workers website.
  • If hospitalisation is required, there are veteran specific mental health wards and treatment programs. To find out their location call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254.
  • PTSD Group Programs: DVA provides group treatment programs for PTSD in hospitals across Australia. These programs treat current as well as former serving members and veterans. To find out more information about these programs you can contact the hospitals directly and speak to the PTSD program coordinators. A list of the programs and relevant contact details are available at: http://at-ease.dva.gov.au/professionals/files/2016/02/Trauma-Recovery-Programs-Feb-2016.pdf

Rehabilitation

  • You also may wish to consider psychosocial and/or vocational rehabilitation services early on in your treatment. DVA can offer extensive rehabilitation services for entitled veterans.

ADF Joint Health Command is responsible for all healthcare services for ADF personnel including preparation for and support to deployed personnel.

If you need immediate help

  • Call 000 to be connected to emergency responses
  • 1800 IMSICK (1800 467 425) is a national 24 hour call service providing nurse triage and health support for all ADF entitled personnel within Australia. 1800 IMSICK is NOT AN EMERGENCY NUMBER. 1800 IMSICK assists entitled ADF personnel to obtain health care, including mental health care if they become ill or injured after hours and are not in close proximity to an On-Base health facility.

If you just want to talk

  • Call the All-hours Support Line (ASL) on 1800 628 036. The ASL is a confidential telephone counselling support service for ADF personnel and their families that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Alternatively you can call the 24/7 VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service on 1800 011 046. During business hours you will be transferred to the nearest VVCS office in your state. After hours you will be connected with professional telephone counsellors at Veterans Line for immediate assistance, and you can opt to be connected to your local VVCS office for follow-up support.
  • Defence Family members can also call the Defence Community Organisation’s Family Helpline 1800 624 608, for a range of supports and programs for families and children of Defence members.

To locate a mental health provider in Defence

  • Mental health providers are available at your nearest Garrison Health Service, Mental Health and Psychology Section, or through a Medical Officer.
  • Defence members may be referred by their medical officer to VVCS, and eligible Defence members can also self-refer to VVCS. VVCS specialises in supporting Defence members, Ex-Defence members and the families of veterans, and they provide individual and group based treatment options. It is important that your Defence medical officer is aware that you are accessing services from VVCS. Call the 24/7 VVCS on 1800 011 046 or visit the VVCS website for more information.

To locate a mental health provider in the community

  • If you would prefer to access a community service provider your best place to start is with your GP, who can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health social worker, or mental health occupational therapist, according to your need.
  • To find a psychologist you can also use the Australian Psychological Society’s Find a Psychologist website.
  • Follow the link for a list of mental health trained social workers.

MentalHealthTipQuoteEditor

  • Even if you’ve only been struggling for a little while, seeking help is an excellent way to keep your mental health on track.

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