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Veterans

“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 person's lifemental health, wellbeing, physical health, family relationshipssocial connection, sense of self-worth and belongingemployment prospects, finances, housing. 

Experiences and signs you may 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

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 (6pm-midnight AEST, 7 nights). 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 Australia’s leading provider of mental health assessment and counselling for Australian veterans and their families.

Visit: Open Arms

Soldier On

Soldier On is grounded in the bonds of friendship and a desire to better connect the community to the experiences of Australian Defence personnel, contemporary veterans, and their families.

Visit: Soldier On

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.