35 years of mental health support for veterans
The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) celebrated its 35th birthday on 29 January 2017.
VVCS, known originally as the Vietnam Veterans’ Counselling Service, provides free mental health counselling and support to those who have served our nation.
It has provided more than 1.6 million counselling sessions to more than 300,000 veterans and family members since the first office opened in Adelaide on 29 January 1982.
VVCS is the legacy of our Vietnam veterans, who recognised a need for mental health services specifically for those who had served in the military.
VVCS now provides services to more than 27,000 clients a year, with centres throughout Australia and a strong network of outreach counsellors in regional and rural areas.
Our commitment to providing support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families remains as strong as ever.
Mental Health Commission Review
The National Mental Health Commission have invited the public to have their say on self-harm and suicide prevention services available to current and former members of the ADF. VVCS encourages current and former ADF members, their families, friends and carers to participate in the Review.
Launched by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, the VVCS Facebook page is designed to encourage peer to peer support in the veteran and ex-service community.
Through the page and this website, VVCS hopes to enable the community to learn more about VVCS counselling, group programs and other services, increase mental health literacy, assist members of the veteran community with self management and provide contact information and referral pathways for those in need.
The Minister chose to launch the VVCS Facebook page on Vietnam Veterans Day, acknowledging the central role Australia’s Vietnam veterans played in the establishment of VVCS.
VVCS is the legacy of Australia's Vietnam veterans. They have ensured that future generations of serving men and women will have access to specialised mental health and wellbeing support.
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson has officially launched a new dedicated website for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) at the South Australian RSL Congress in Adelaide today.
ADF personnel are selected for many qualities including their personal strength and resilience. They are trained, both physically and mentally, for operational duties. This cannot, however, always prepare the mind for the psychological impact of events that may be experienced, or witnessed, whilst in theatre.
Understanding how the combat experience may manifest once back from deployment, recognising signs of combat trauma and taking steps to seek help early, can be important steps in minimising any mental health impact from military service.
Partners or family members are usually the first to notice the telltale changes in a veteran’s behaviour, such as emotionally detachment, wanting to always be alone, aggressive or angry outbursts, or increased substance misuse. They are often also the first to notice if military service is having an adverse impact on children. A period of adjustment between deployments, or following separation from the military, is not uncommon, however, if negative behavioural changes persist it may be time to seek help from VVCS.
The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) has been supporting members of Australia’s veteran and ex-serving community and their families for over 30 years. VVCS counsellors have an understanding of veteran and military culture that assists them to deliver specialised support and care to members of this community.
The legacy of Australia's Vietnam veterans, VVCS offers free and confidential counselling, and group programs to help address concerns such as anxiety, depression, anger, sleep difficulties, posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol or substance misuse. Support is also available for relationship and family matters that can arise due to the unique nature of military service.
For help, to learn more, or to check eligibility, call 1800 011 046 (24/7).