Defence committed to supporting workforce mental health

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

The Hon Matt Keogh MP

Minister for Defence Personnel

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Media contact

Stephanie Mathews on 0407 034 485

Release content

10 October 2022

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day to reflect on our mental health and wellbeing and a timely reminder to ask our Defence workforce to check in with colleagues, friends and family.

The Albanese Government is committed to cultural change in Defence and raising awareness and acceptance of mental health issues amongst personnel.

The importance of early identification of mental health concerns, no matter the cause, and providing access to the right support, treatment and rehabilitation should not be underestimated.

Anyone who has served one day in the ADF has access to a range of services and initiatives, including a White Card to cover treatment for service related inquiries and mental health.

Free mental health treatment is available for all former full time members of the Australian Defence Force through the Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC) program. Some reservists may also be eligible (those who have completed Disaster Relief Service or Border Protection Service or involvement in a serious service-related training accident).

Additionally, current personnel and their families can access following services:

  • HeadStrength app, a purpose-built Defence mental health and wellbeing resource app
  • Defence NewAccess program, delivered by Beyond Blue, focused on early intervention coaching designed for people experiencing low levels of anxiety and depression
  • access to professional counselling services through the Defence Employee Assistance Program.

Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles:

“The mental health and wellbeing of our workforce is a priority for Defence, it has a direct impact on individuals and on overall Defence capability.

“Defence is fully committed to improving our understanding of the mental health impacts on our workforce and strengthening our approach to supporting our people”.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Personnel, the Hon Matt Keogh MP:

“Our personnel are our greatest capability, we must ensure they are supported”.

“Defence has a broad range of mental health support services available to ensure all Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and Australian Public Service employees have access to the right support at the right time.”

“I encourage anyone struggling to reach out and seek help early - you will be supported.”


Defence All-hours Support Line (ASL) on 1800 628 036
The Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608
Employee Assistance Program on 1300 687 327 [1300 OUR EAP]

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling on 1800 011 046

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