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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Free suicide prevention training for the veteran community

Support for veterans' health and wellbeing has been strengthened with the introduction of a free online suicide prevention training program, delivered in partnership with Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling and the Returned and Services League of Australia.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said Suicide Prevention Start is available to anyone who has contact with, or supports the veteran community.

“Veterans' mental health and wellbeing is everyone’s business—governments, families, friends, employers, community organisations, ex-service organisations and the broader veteran community—and we must all work together,” Mr Chester said.

“Suicide is a national tragedy that affects many of us and this free, self-paced program provides practical guidance on the signs that someone may be contemplating suicide, and how to connect them to help and support.

“Providing access to this free online training is an example of our commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of our veterans and their families, and I encourage all those in the ex-service community to complete this potentially life-saving training.”

The online training is open to all current and former ADF members with one day continuous full-time service, their family members and anyone who has contact with or supports the veteran community.

In addition to Suicide Prevention Start, Open Arms has also developed a suite of introductory online training options that includes, Doing Anger Differently, Understanding Anxiety, Recovery from Trauma, and Managing Pain.

For more information on Open Arms programs and services, visit Open Arms website or call 1800 011 046.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au