Defence highlights mental health awareness, belonging and connection on World Mental Health Day

mental health awareness

Today, October 10, is World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts to support those experiencing mental health challenges. The theme for 2023, as set by Mental Health Australia, is “look after your mental health, Australia” and focuses on awareness, belonging and connection. It is an important reminder to us all to check in with our colleagues, family and friends and ourselves.

mental health awareness

Defence is committed to strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of all people in the Defence community, through better access to supports, tools and resources. As part of actioning this goal, some of the initiatives that Defence has undertaken include:

  • Developing a joint Defence and Veteran Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2024-2029 with the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Building the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Branch within Defence to deliver targeted and evidenced based strategies, training, education and systems that improve the mental health and wellbeing of Defence people
  • Delivering an updated suicide awareness training module for all Australian Defence Force personnel
  • Supporting the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Defence thanks its mental health professionals for their vital work

Brigadier Caitlin Langford, Director General of the Defence Mental Health and Wellbeing Branch, said a mentally healthy workforce is one where Defence people lead enriched lives, engage in fulfilling careers, have a positive sense of wellbeing and contribute to strengthened operational capability.

“Today on World Mental Health Day, I say thank you to our psychologists and clinicians in uniform, their public healthcare counterparts and departmental staff who continue to provide mental health and wellbeing services, education and training to Defence people day in day out,” Brigadier Langford said.

“The work you do is vital to ensuring we deliver the best possible mental health and wellbeing support to our people.”

Defence encourages its people to reach out for help if needed

Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have a broad range of mental health support services available to ensure all Defence people have access to the right support at the right time. If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out for help. You will be supported.

Some of the available services are:

  • Defence All-hours Support Line (ASL) – 1800 628 036: a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families 24/7
  • Defence Member and Family Helpline – 1800 624 608: staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists 24/7
  • A network of dedicated mental health professionals at health centres located at major Defence bases that can provide or facilitate support both on-base or off-base
  • Away from base, or for out-of-hours assistance – 1800 IMSICK (1800 467 425) to locate the nearest support 24/7

For more information on World Mental Health Day, visit the official website or the World Health Organization website.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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