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Welfare Support Services

The following welfare support services are available for those who have had contact with an Inspector‐General of the Australian Defence Force inquiry or other process:

Please ask for help, if you need it, from any of the services listed below:

  • For current serving ADF members – your chain of command, local Defence health facility, unit, base or ship on‐call Chaplain, or your support officer or legal representative. You are also able to access any of the services below.
  • In the event of injury or illness ADF members should call the medical advice triage referral service 1800IMSICK. This service provides nursing level triage and advice regarding appropriate access to health care.
  • All‐hours Support Line (for ADF members and their families) – call 1800 628 036 (available 24/7). This is a confidential telephone service that provides access to mental health advice and referral for ADF members and their families.
  • Defence Family Helpline (for ADF members and their families) – call 1800 624 608 (available 24/7); www.defence.gov.au/dco/ . The Helpline is available 24/7 for ADF members and their families, and is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
  • Family and dependants of Defence members have access to Chaplaincy services to receive pastoral care, support or advice. Service Chaplains maintain a 24/7 on‐call service and have support networks across Australia. To get in touch with a Chaplain, Defence or family members can either call their unit, base or ship Chaplain or ring 1300 DEFENCE and ask to speak to the on‐call Chaplain in your area.
  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling (for current and former serving ADF members and their families) – 1800 011 046; https://www.openarms.gov.au . Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF members and their families, and operates a free‐call all‐hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face to face support ‐ Members can sometimes feel more comfortable reaching out to Open Arms in the first instance as Open Arms is not part of Defence.
  • Safe Zone Support – is a free and anonymous counselling line, for veterans and their families – call 1800 142 072 (available 24/7). This service provides access to specialised counsellors, with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers care without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded.
  • Lifeline Australia (available 24/7) – call 13 11 14; www.lifeline.org.au . Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • Employee Assistance Program (for Defence APS, ADF Reservists and their families) – call 1300 OUR EAP (1300 687 327). This is a 24/7 free, confidential and professional counselling service available to Defence APS employees, Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) employees, Australian Defence Force Reservists, ADF Cadets, Officers and Instructors of ADF Cadets and their immediate families, and their supervisors/managers.
  • ADF Health and Wellbeing portal – www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal . The ADF Health and Wellbeing Portal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs (for current and former serving ADF members) – call 1800 555 254. Current or former serving members and their families may wish to contact DVA for access to advice, claims and DVA support mechanisms.

Directions you may have received about not discussing inquiry evidence with any other person do not apply to discussions you may have when asking for professional advice or support through formal mechanisms, provided that you stipulate to the consultant that the consultation involves material that is subject to inquiry and must be kept confidential.

James Gaynor
JM Gaynor, CSC
Inspector‐General of the Australian Defence Force