Ahead of ANZAC day this weekend, we wanted to discuss the digital mental health resources available to support veterans, current serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, and their families.
Current and ex-serving ADF members and their family members can often experience mental health issues relating to their service and returning to civilian life, including post-traumatic stress disorder. There are a range of digital mental health resources available to support members of the ADF community via information sites, online counselling, and apps for everything from everyday stresses to mental health conditions including PTSD.
Defence Family Helpline
1800 624 608
The Defence Family Helpline is an email and telephone support service from the Australian Department of Defence, Defence Community Organisation. The helpline provides support, information, and connection with community including users local DCO team, to members of the defence community including veterans and defence families.
1800 628 036
Fighting Fit is a defence health and wellbeing portal from the Australian Department of Defence for current and ex-serving ADF members and their families. The Fighting Fit portal includes resources and information on ADF health and rehabilitation, physical health problems, and other veteran services. The resources and information is targeted for specific personnel and situations including Commanders, Reservists, members preparing for deployment, veterans, and health professionals.
The High Res app was developed by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs, as an eToolbox to help ex-serving ADF members and their families cope with stress, build resilience and bounce back. The app aims to guide users through managing the daily stresses of military life, deployment, transition to civilian life, and life post-service. High Res includes interactive, easy-to-use tools, a scheduler to set goals to practice the tools regularly, and a resilience self-assessment to track progress over time. The app is available on the Apple store and Google Play store.
On Track with The Right Mix
On Track with The Right Mix app, developed by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs, helps serving and ex-serving ADF personnel and veterans manage their alcohol consumption. The app helps individuals track the number and type of drinks consumed, and the amount of money spent. Users can also access information on how much exercise is needed to burn off the kilojoules consumed and the impact on your wellbeing and fitness. On Track with The Right Mix includes real-time tracking, budget setting, and reminders when you’ve reached your budget, personalised wellbeing score, information of accessing professional help, among other features. The app is available on the Apple store and Google Play store.
1800 011 046
Open Arms is a Veteran and Families Counselling service, providing mental health and wellbeing support to current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. The 24-hour telephone support service offers crisis support, counselling and online appointments, community and peer network, group treatment programs, suicide intervention training, and free mental health information. The Open Arms website also includes a range of information to support ADF community members’ mental health and wellbeing.
Operation Life Online
The Operation Life online app was designed by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs to help members of the ADF community deal with suicidal thoughts and can be used with the support of a clinician. The app is intended to support clinical care providers and individuals with support services and self-help tools to help users regain control, keep calm and take action to stay safe. The app is available on the Apple store and Google Play store.
PTSD Coach Australia
The PTSD Coach app was developed by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs to help individuals, including current and ex-serving ADF members, understand and manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD Coach Australia includes information, PTSD treatments, screening and tracking tools, a scheduler to manage self-care, health appointments and activities, easy-to-use skills, and links to support and help. The app is available on the Apple store and Google Play store.
Phoenix Australia is a not-for-profit organisation established by the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs to provide information and support, promoting recovery, improved wellbeing, and quality of life for Australian’s affected by Trauma. While originally established to support current and ex-serving ADF members and their families, however over the years it has evolved to provide support to any Australian affected by trauma. Their website can be used by individuals seeking support for themselves or practitioners and organisations supporting individuals with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
While not designed specifically for veterans or currently serving ADF members, Mental Health Online, MindSpot Clinic, and This Way Up do provide online programs for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).