More Than $1 Million in Mental Health Support for Younger Veterans

Support for the mental health needs of younger veterans has today received a boost with more than $1 million in grants or eight projects which will be delivered by ex-service organisations (ESOs) and other veteran community organisations.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the latest round of the Supporting Younger Veterans grants has provided funding to projects that support the development of well-researched and tailored services and programs for younger veterans who may be at risk of experiencing poor mental health.

“The Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and it’s important that we work with the veteran and ex-service community to ensure support is provided to veterans and their families at grassroots level, when and where they need it,” Mr Chester said.

“These projects include employment, education, recreational, sports, social connectedness and digital supports—all great initiatives offering real support to veterans.

“Congratulations to all of the successful applicants and thank you to all who have applied and continue to support this important program.”

DVA recognises the potential impact coronavirus may have on recipients completing their projects with social distancing and other public health measures in place across the country.

The grants offer will be available for the initial 12-month period, however if the organisation requires more time to complete their project due to coronavirus, DVA will consider extending the length of the agreement on a case-by-case basis.

This flexibility will ensure all of the successful organisations can deliver their projects within a reasonable timeframe and continue to deliver great support their local veteran community.

A full list of successful applicants is below.

Recipient Funding Description Amount Service Areas
The Returned and Services League of Australia, Woden Valley Sub-Branch Inc. To facilitate the ‘Group Emotional and Relationship Skills’ (GEARS) Program to offer a skills-based intervention for members of the younger veteran community in Canberra experiencing mental health problems. $25,000.00 ACT NSW
Keith Payne VC Veterans Benefit Group To provide a tailored surf therapy program that will assist younger veterans with mental health issues. $280,686.00 NSW
ServULink Pty Ltd To enable all veterans and their families to identify, navigate, connect with and access existing services including mental health, support and community events across Australia through the development of an application based service that will create virtual partnerships across relevant existing ESO providers. $117,360.00 National
Australian Catholic University Limited To create a tertiary credit mapping framework that will improve access to post-service tertiary education and so improve employment prospects and mental and physical health outcomes for Australian Defence Force (ADF) Veterans. $240,632.07 NSW QLD VIC
The Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch) To develop a toolkit in conjunction with Clinical Psychologists and mental health professionals experienced in veteran mental health issues, to encourage veterans’ involvement in the supportive sporting community. $59,176.43 National
Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Limited To encourage younger veterans to ‘share their story’ through a ‘Younger Service Voices’ (YSV) radio and podcast series featuring interviews with younger veterans who have transitioned into civilian life. YSV will raise awareness of the issues faced by younger veterans such as suicide prevention, transitions, employment, family support, health and homelessness. $36,335.00 National
STEPS Group Australia Limited To run a 9-month Pilot to secure sustainable jobs for up to 25 younger veterans at risk of experiencing poor mental health. $103,452.84 QLD
Mates4Mates Limited To provide equine-assisted therapy programs to at-risk veterans and their partners. $138,357.66 NSW QLD NT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit

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