Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today paid
tribute to everyone who had contributed to the Veterans
and Veterans Families Counselling Service, which
celebrates its 35th
The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (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,”
Mr Tehan said.
“VVCS clinicians offer specialised face-to-face and
telephone counselling, as well as group programs, to
individuals and families who have been directly and
indirectly exposed to conflict.
“It 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
Mr Tehan said VVCS support had evolved over the
years, and eligibility had expanded to include the
families of veterans, as well as those involved in more
recent conflicts and various peacetime operations.
“The Government has committed to providing
$3.1 million to further extend access to VVCS services
to include family members of current and former
Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who die by
suicide or reported suicide; siblings of ADF members
killed in service-related incidents; Defence Force Abuse
Taskforce (DART) complainants; families of DART
complainants; and adult sons and daughters who are over
the age of 26 years of post-Vietnam War veterans,” he
VVCS offers support for service-related issues, such
as anger, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) and sleep disturbance. Clinicians also
work with couples and families on relationship issues
that arise from the unique demands of military life, and
run a range of group programs including free suicide
prevention workshops for members of the veteran
“We have a duty of care to the men and women who have
served our nation, which is why the Government made
mental health treatment for PTSD, depression, anxiety,
alcohol and substance abuse free to anyone who has
served one day in the full-time ADF,” Mr Tehan said.
VVCS provides specialised, free and confidential
Australia-wide support and operates 24 hours a day on
1800 011 046. For more information,
http://www.vvcs.gov.au or follow VVCS on Facebook.