Expanding mental health support for Brisbane’s veteran community

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Assistant Minister for Defence
Assistant Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Assistant Minister for the Republic

The Albanese Labor Government is committed to supporting the mental health and welfare of ADF personnel, veterans and families and is expanding access to Open Arms counselling services across Brisbane.

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Thistlethwaite, officially opened two new Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling offices in Stafford and Mount Gravatt today. 

The expansion of mental health support services, including access to free counselling, group programs, and peer support, is a further boost to support for more than 60,000 veterans and their families across the Brisbane area.

Specialist staff, many of whom are veterans or veteran family members themselves, will be based at the new offices to provide military-aware and trauma-informed care. 

“Brisbane is home to one of Australia’s largest veteran communities and Open Arms is the Australia’s leading specialist mental health service for veterans and their families,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

“Our veterans sacrifice much for the service of this country, they put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. This is an unpayable debt, but veterans can rest assured that Open Arms is there for them when they need support.”

“I would like to thank the Open Arms staff for their unwavering support of veterans and their families, and I look forward to seeing this vital work expanded through these new offices,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

Open Arms was established by Vietnam veterans as the Vietnam Veterans’ Counselling Service.
Since 1982, Open Arms has provided more than 2 million free mental health sessions to over 300,000 veterans and their family members. 

Open Arms provides specialised, free and confidential Australia-wide support and can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 011 046.

For more information, visit the Open Arms website.

Media contacts:

Ruairi Housego (Assistant Minister Thistlethwaite’s Office): 0461 540 012
DVA Media: media.team@dva.gov.au  

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Defence Health Portal. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608