In a year where we have seen bushfires, floods and a global pandemic, residents in Victoria are urged to look out for their mates who may be struggling.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Government had made mental health a priority, including for veterans and their families in Victoria. “Mental health is everyone’s business and we all have a part to play — check in on a mate, ask them if they are ok, have a conversation and help them get the support they need,”  Senator Henderson said.

 The Federal Government’s recent Budget provided an additional $101.7 million to further increase mental health support services for veterans and their families across Australia.

 This includes $5 million to expand Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (Open Arms), Australia’s leading provider of high quality mental health and counselling services for Australian veterans and their families.

 “Open Arms provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF personnel and their families. This life-saving support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1800 011 046,”  Senator Henderson said.

“Open Arms is also supporting a #Check5 campaign, encouraging all veterans and their family members to square away their mental health and check in with five people in their lives – something everyone can do.

 “Veterans in Victoria will also benefit from the Government’s $94.3 million investment to increase fees paid to psychiatrists, allied mental health, social workers and community nursing providers, and to train psychiatry registrars in veteran and military mental health.”

 During such a difficult year,  Senator Henderson is encouraging any veteran who may be struggling to reach out and access the support available.

 “Through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, veterans can access free mental health care for any mental health condition. This is available for life and doesn’t need to be linked to ADF service,”  Senator Henderson said.

 “Open Arms is also supporting a #Check5 campaign, encouraging all veterans and their family members to square away their mental health and check in with five people in their lives, and this is something we can all do.

 “Victoria has a proud history of military service and the mental health and wellbeing of our veterans and their families matters to everyone in our community.

 “If you know of someone who may be struggling, please reach out and encourage them to seek support and treatment as early as possible. There is support available.”

 17 December 2020