DVA now has a new resource on line to help families of serving, transitioning or ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force who are experiencing mental-health concerns following trauma.
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said families played a critical role supporting current and former ADF members and it was vital they were supported themselves.
“Help is available and these booklets add to the supports already in place for families through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling,” Mr Chester said.
“The booklets are designed to assist not only the ADF member, but also their loved ones, in understanding the effects of trauma, and providing practical steps to enhance the wellbeing of their family members.”
Mr Chester said the booklets were developed in partnership with Phoenix Australia, which has a long history [established 1995] in supporting the defence and veteran community through its research, advice and practical programs.
“These booklets will be an important resource for families whose members have experienced trauma.”
Director of Policy and Service Development from Phoenix Australia Anne-Laure Couineau said that help was available and it was important that families knew they didn’t have to get through tough times on their own.
“Trauma can have profound impacts on the families of the affected person, including children,” Ms Couineau said.
“These booklets aim to inform, educate and provide practical information not only to help a loved one, but also to support the wellbeing of the family members.
“Family members had a chance to road-test the booklets to ensure they were easy to read and contained the information most useful for them.”
The five booklets are free to download via the At Ease website www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/resources/coping-trauma-military-family
For those in need of immediate mental health support and counselling, Open Arms — Veterans and Family Counselling Service can be contacted on 1800 011 046. DVA’s online wellbeing portal,
AT-Ease.dva.gov.au, also provides veterans and their families with information, resources and links to services for support with mental health and wellbeing.