Open Arms retains mental health accreditation

Veteran-specific lifeline Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling has successfully retained its Mental Health Accreditation under the National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS).

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Darren Chester, has welcomed the decision, made this week, saying the service provides an invaluable counselling support service to veterans and their families.

“Accreditation follows a rigorous assessment process conducted by an independent, external assessing agency, Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP),” Mr Chester said.

“QIP’s accreditation report stated that Open Arms had met all requirements of the NSMHS and commended Open Arms on its many strengths and positive feedback from clients and stakeholders.”

Mr Chester said comments made from veterans and their families about Open Arms included:

  • The help they gave me early on probably saved my life – now they’re keeping me stable
  • I feel it’s safe because it’s a public service organisation. They understand military context – it makes the world of difference
  • They were and are a lifesaver
  • The staff are skilled and genuinely concerned about me and my family
  • Helped me understand what my partner was going through with PTSD and why they acted the way they did
  • I felt very validated and supported
  • They have an understanding that we’re constantly in fight mode…they get it and they understand that, it’s respectful
  • I find the service very easy to get to.

“The Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first – their mental health and wellbeing is a top priority,” Mr Chester said.

“Mental health is everyone’s business – families, friends, employers, community organisations and the Ex-service Organisations all have an important role to play in supporting veterans and their families.

“I encourage any veterans-or their family member-who are struggling with their mental health to reach out for support.

“You are not alone; support is available whenever you need it. Free and confidential help is available through Open Arms and available 24/7, 365 days a year. Open Arms can be contacted on 1800 011 046.”

/Public Release. View in full here.