Joint media release — New Open Arms office for Rockingham, WA

Sunday, December 13 2020

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

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia

Veterans and their families in Rockingham, Western Australia, will benefit from the support of a new permanent Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling office at Goddard House, 18 Goddard Street, which opens tomorrow.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said Open Arms was Australia’s leading provider of mental health counselling and support services for Australian veterans and their families, and having an office near HMAS Stirling would be of great benefit.

“Service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is an overwhelmingly positive experience for most, but the unique nature of military service can have an impact on the mental health of our current and former ADF personnel and their families,” Mr Chester said.

“We have made progress in reducing the stigma around seeking help, but there is still work to do, and I would encourage any current ADF member, veteran or their families who may need some additional help to please reach out.

“Open Arms provides many important services including confidential counselling, training programs and peer support, relationship retreats, group treatment programs and suicide prevention courses.

“Veterans and their families will also benefit from having a team of Community and Peer workers, a first for Rockingham, who offer support based on their own experiences of military life, transition and mental health recovery.”

Senator for Western Australia the Hon Michaelia Cash said this live-saving service will be available to almost 10,000 current and former ADF personnel and their families in the area.

“This is a great addition to local services, especially with some 4,400 ADF members and their families located near Garden Island, along with some 4,700 veterans and their families in the area,” Senator Cash said.

“While not all of these people will need the service, those that do need that extra support will be able to readily access it, and I would encourage anyone who may be struggling to please reach out.”

The new office offers modern, well equipped, and easily accessible facilities, as well as capacity for an increased workforce that will assist in meeting the mental health and wellbeing needs of current and former ADF members and their families.

Open Arms is Australia’s leading provider of mental health counselling and support services for Australian veterans and their families, and I strongly encourage any veteran, or veteran family member who may be struggling or in need of additional support to call them on 1800 011 046.

Open Arms was founded by Australia’s Vietnam veterans and is part of their enduring legacy to ensure all Australian veterans and their families can access free mental health support for life.

For further information on Open Arms services and locations visit the Open Arms website.

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