The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Senator Paul Scarr
Senator for Queensland
VETERANS and their families in Ipswich, Queensland, now have greater access to mental health support services with the opening of a new permanent Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling office tomorrow.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the previous Open Arms office in Ipswich was a satellite office and that the new permanent location further demonstrated the Government’s commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of Australian veterans and their families.
“The new office, centrally located at 10 Brisbane Street, is in close vicinity to RAAF Base Amberley, the largest Air Force base in Australia, and the place of employment for thousands of current Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families,” Mr Chester said.
“The new location offers veterans and their families a modern, well equipped, easily accessible and family friendly site with additional counselling rooms and large open office spaces to ensure they are well-looked after.”
In what has been a challenging year, Open Arms has seen a 35 per cent increase in counselling sessions provided to the ex-service community in the last 12 months, and this increase is expected to continue throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator for Queensland Paul Scarr, who is based in the Ipswich region, said the increase in those accessing counselling services illustrated that the message about seeking mental health support was being heard, particularly in the ex-service community.
“Reaching out for support is incredibly important during uncertain times and veterans and their families in the areas surrounding RAAF Amberley here in Queensland will now have a better resource to provide that support,” Senator Scarr said.
“If you are a veteran or family member who may be struggling or in need of additional support, I encourage you to call Open Arms 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit OpenArms.gov.au to find more about services available.”
Open Arms was founded by our Vietnam veterans and is their enduring legacy of ensuring all veterans and their families can access free and confidential mental health support.
The Ipswich Open Arms office is one of five in southern Queensland. For further information on Open Arms locations, visit OpenArms.gov.au.
Minister Chester, Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
Senator Scarr, Matt McEachan: 07 3186 9350
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