There are a range of services available for families of current and ex-serving ADF members.

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

For family members of serving Defence members

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

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

Counselling services for eligible veterans and family members

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) provides free and confidential, nation-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health and wellbeing conditions. Support is also available for relationship and family matters that can arise due to the unique nature of military service. Call Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) on 1800 011 046 (24/7).

Managing your own mental health

If you are supporting someone you care for, it is important to look after your own mental health.  You can speak to your GP about developing a mental health care plan, or call Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) on 1800 011 046.

Relationship support in the community for partners and children of veterans

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.

More information about parenting and parenting skills

The Raising Children Network provides resources for parents such as tips for setting limits or helping children deal with separation.

Programs that help people address their violent behaviour

Family violence prevention programs are run by Relationships Australia and include a range of services to assist people with violence and or abuse issues in their relationships, including family violence programs for perpetrators.

Information and resources for carers

Carers Australia This is the peak body providing national services and advocacy for carers. State based carer organisations can provide support and services to those people engaged in a carer role. They also provide a National Carer Counselling Program (1800 242 636), which provides short-term counselling and emotional and psychological support services for carers.

DVA Carers Booklet Provides information about specific services available through DVA and other general resources for carers.

SANE Australia interviews carers of people with mental illness about their experiences the video .

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, including:

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.

Online self-help programs

The High Res website and app offer range of interactive tools and self-help resources that help serving and ex-serving ADF members and their families manage stress and build resilience.

Head to health provides access to information about mental health care services, as well as links to online self-help programs.

Beacon provides information and links to websites with a range of self-help resources, including mobile applications (apps). Beacon’s content covers both mental and physical wellbeing and is reviewed by health experts to ensure it’s effective and up to date.

myCompass is an interactive self-help service that promotes resilience and wellbeing for all Australians. myCompass is a guide to good mental health – it points you in the right direction. You can track your moods, write about them and view information and tips. You can also choose to do one of the modules designed to help you manage mild to moderate stress, anxiety and depression.