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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

SMART Programs

The SMART suite of programs help Defence families develop their resilience, providing them with the psychological resources to manage the military way of life. Increasing your ‘psychological resilience’ means that despite experiencing frustrations and challenging circumstances, you can still maintain an optimistic outlook and keep going.

The SMART programs teach you a series of skills including grounding techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, changing self-talk, problem solving, and expressing emotions.

During a SMART session participants will also be given information and resources to connect them with valuable local community resources. The programs are delivered by local Defence Social Workers in small group sessions, and provide practical tips and techniques to help manage stressful situations.

To sign up for any of the SMART sessions in your region, or to find out more information, contact the all-hours Defence Member and Family Helpline on or 1800 624 608.

Related:  Mental health & wellbeing


FamilySMART is a series of group programs designed to help the partners of ADF members identify and build on their strengths, learn techniques to cope with the stressors and challenges of the military lifestyle, and become more resilient, self-reliant and proactive.

The programs target challenging aspects of Defence life such as deployment, relocations, partner absence from home, or reuniting with a partner who is returning after a long time away.


TeenSMART workshops are for Defence teenagers to help them manage issues arising from deployment and relocation.

During the workshops, Defence teenagers can meet and share their stories about being part of a military family. They can also learn some ideas and tactics to help them stay connected to their parents while they are away on deployment, and meet new friends when they move to a new posting location.

The workshop will also cover other things, like managing change and coping when feeling stressed out. There will be some tips and hints for handling emotions, and some great relaxation techniques, too.


KidSMART are a set of four-week programs for primary aged kids to help them manage issues arising from posting, relocation and deployment. The KidSMART mascots, Tyler Turtle and Sam Super, will help kids learn how to manage change, stay connected with friends and meet new people.

The workshops will also cover other things, like helping children to cope when feeling stressed or anxious, particularly during times of parental absence and deployment. Kids can learn some techniques for handing emotions and relaxation, too.

Sessions are once a week for 1 to 1.5 hours per session and all children receive a story book to take home.