Find professional care

If you have served one full day in the ADF, you are eligible for a range of professional care services.  You may be able to access services through primary and allied health, DVA and Defence.

If you are in a crisis and need immediate help:

  • Call 000 to be connected to emergency responses

  • Go to your nearest hospital emergency department

Start with a GP

After you have left the Australian Defence Force (ADF), you can access a comprehensive health assessment from your GP to track how you are going. 

This assessment has been designed specifically for you. It can help your GP identify the early onset of any physical or mental health conditions you may be experiencing and provide treatment or refer you to other services.

If you don't already have a GP, search on the find a health service page.

Find a mental health provider

To access a private mental health provider, start with your GP who can refer you 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 Psychologistwebsite.

You can also find a list of mental health social workers at the Australian Association of Social Workers website.

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) supports 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.

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 PTSD group programs is available.

Free mental health treatment

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.

More information is available about non-liability health care or call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254.

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.

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.

Currently serving Defence members

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

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 helps ADF personnel get health care, including mental health care if they become ill or injured after hours and are not near 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.

Mental health providers 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 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. Call the 24/7 VVCS on 1800 011 046 or visit the VVCS website for more information.

Mental health providers in the community

If you would prefer to access a community service provider start 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.

A list of mental health trained social workers is available.

To find a psychologist you can also use the Australian Psychological Society’s find a psychologist website.