If life in danger call Triple Zero 000
If life in danger call Triple Zero 000


“At that time, it was really only the Vietnam veterans that suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, not the young fellows. Not the young men and women who'd been on deployment overseas. I was totally in disbelief that it could actually happen to me….” Ben Farinazzo in the Holding on to Hope podcast

Veterans, both currently and previously serving, and their families face unique experiences during a military career, and in transitioning to civilian life.

Service related injuries are not always visible. Service and transition can impact many different parts of a person's life; mental health, wellbeing, physical health, family relationships, social connection, sense of self-worth and belonging, employment prospects, finances and housing.

Experiences and signs you or someone you care about may need support:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Recurrent or persistent thoughts of past traumatic events
  • Relationship issues
  • Increased substance use to cope with difficult thoughts, memories or feelings
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Difficulty feeling joy or enjoyment
  • Feeling disconnected from others
  • Feeling as though the previous difficult or traumatic event/s is happening again
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you, or someone you care for are experiencing any of these mental health impacts due to service, including other signs or symptoms please call Lifeline to speak to a trained Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or text Lifeline on 0477 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or chat online (24 hours / 7 days). We are here to listen.

Support services and resources

Open Arms

Open Arms – Veterans & Family Counselling was founded by Australia's Vietnam veterans. It is a 24-hour support service providing counselling and support services to Australia’s military community and their families.

Visit: Open Arms
Call: 1800 011 046

Australian Defence Force All-hours Support Line

The All-hours Support Line (ASL) is a 24-hour confidential telephone service for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families. The ASL can help you access ADF or civilian health services more easily such as psychology, medical, social work, and chaplain services.

Call: 1800 628 036

RSL DefenceCare

RSL Defence Care provides free services to current and ex-servicing Defence personnel, family members, and spouses of veterans. They provide resources and support for DVA claims and appeals, employment, housing and accommodation, financial assistance, transport, community outreach and counselling.

Visit: RSL DefenceCare website

Department of Veteran’s Affairs

Department of Veteran’s Affairs aims to support those who serve or have served through programs of care, compensation, commemoration and support.

Visit: Department of Veteran’s Affairs website

Holding on to Hope - Ben's Story

At 25, soldier Ben was sent to East Timor as assistant to the forces commander. Being fluent in Indonesian, Ben formed a deep bond with the locals and saw the best and worst of humanity there. He helped deliver a baby but also witnessed the terrible Suai Church Massacre.

Although he returned to Australia in body, his spirit was elsewhere. The experience left him battling PTSD for years. It wasn’t until he called Lifeline and was advised to see his GP that he was finally diagnosed. Ben tells how his family, competing in the Invictus Games, discovering a talent for art, rowing at sunrise, and simply enjoying being “ordinary” all helped him return to life.