10 September 2016
Bravery comes in many forms.
There is the bravery of the men and women who serve in our armed forces who knowingly put their own life at risk in defence of our country. And there is bravery in asking for help and bravery in asking someone you know if they need help, no matter how uncomfortable that conversation.
We all need to be brave and these conversations can be difficult. Suicide and mental health are issues for everyone in our society, including our veterans. On World Suicide Prevention Day, my message to all serving Defence personnel and veterans is that help is available now and if you think you need it, or someone you know needs it — please ask for help.
Today — right now — any veteran, Australian Defence Force (ADF) member or their family members can pick up the phone and call the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 011 046 to access free and confidential Australia-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions.
For current serving members, or families who are concerned about an ADF member, support is also available on the ADF All-Hours Support Line on 1800 628 036 or via the ADF Health and Wellbeing Portal ‘Fighting Fit’.
Free mental health treatment is available now to all current and former permanent members of the ADF for a range of conditions, including for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and alcohol and substance use disorders. To access this service call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers.
Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.