<% Response.Redirect "https://openarms.gov.au/about/vvcs-now-open-arms" %> About VVCS

About VVCS

VVCS Overview brochure (PDF 2.3MB) (Word 555KB)

VVCS provides free and confidential, nation-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. 

VVCS also provides relationship and family counselling to address issues that can arise due to the unique nature of military service. VVCS counsellors have an understanding of military culture and can work with clients to find effective solutions for improved mental health and wellbeing.

Military Service and Mental Health

Military personnel are trained for operational duties, but this cannot always prepare the mind for the psychological impact of events that may be experienced or witnessed. The potentially confronting nature of combat and operational service means that military personnel can be exposed to  significant, or multiple, traumatic events throughout their service.

Traumatic events do not affect everyone in the same way. Feelings connected to trauma generally decrease over time. However, severe reactions to a traumatic event, such as prolonged exposure to high risk environments during combat operations, can continue to have an impact on quality of life a long time after an operation is over. 

A period of adjustment between deployments, or at any time following separation from the military, is not uncommon. However, persistent feelings of emotional detachment from your family, wanting to always be alone, sudden feelings of aggression or anger, disturbed sleep or alcohol and substance misuse, could be signs that its time to take action and seek advice and/or assistance. 

Being aware of the early signs and symptoms of a mental health problem can prevent a mental illness developing. The longer a mental health concern is left untreated, the greater the risk of disruption to the person’s and their family’s social, mental and physical wellbeing, with flow-on effects in areas such as employment, relationships and general functioning.

Veterans and their families are encouraged to be aware of changes in mental state (such as increased irritability or restlessness, social withdrawal, reduced concentration, disturbed sleep, increased worry) and to take action at the early signs and seek professional support, not wait to see if they will go away.

Visit the AT EASE website for information about mental health concerns common to veterans and their families.

Call VVCS on 1800 011 046

During business hours 1800 011 046 connects you to the nearest VVCS centre. View the list of VVCS centres.

Outside business hours 1800 011 046 connects you with the VVCS after-hours telephone crisis counselling service.