Help 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.

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If you need urgent help, call 000 or the national domestic violence hotline on 1800 200 526.

Managing you and your family's wellbeing

If you are supporting someone you care for, 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:

  • Your GP. Your GP can help you develop a mental healthcare plan if you or a family member is struggling.
  • Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS). Open Arms provides free and confidential counselling to partners and children of those who have served 24/7. Call 1800 011 046.
  • 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 online to help you manage: 

  • The High Res website and app offer 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 family users 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.

For more information about being a family member of a veteran

You can order or download other sources of information for military families from this website:

  • Beyond the call: Stories from veterans and their families. This book provides an in-depth personal look at the impact of military service on families.
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Booklet. This book contains useful information about experiences and issues that may arise during transition from military to civilian life for ex-serving members and their families. This booklet also has a section on the impact of military service on families and how to get help.