The challenges of 2020 and 2021 have continued to test our endurance and resilience. Events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, DOMOPS to support bushfire, flood, and COVID responses, the IGADF Afghanistan inquiry, and the withdrawal from Afghanistan have tested our resolve and our mateship. As we approach R U OK Day, the importance of looking after ourselves and each other is more pertinent than ever.  

RU OK Day is a prompt to reflect on how you are coping with the turmoil that is going on around you, and how your friends, family and colleagues are managing their stress and emotions. It's not always easy to share how you are feeling or be ready to have conversations that may make you or the other person feel uncomfortable. But it is important to have them. If you are worried about what the answer might be when you ask, 'RU OK?' the RU OK website has some excellent resources including role plays that can help you prepare.  

The Cove team have put together a compilation of mental health and resilience articles previously published so that you can refresh yourself on some of the considerations that surround the complex topic of mental health. They could form the basis of the conversation you decide to have with people today when you ask them if they are ok.  

  1. Mental Health in the Australian Army: A Perspective
  2. Starting the Conversation
  3. Let's Talk About Afghanistan
  4. Leader Burnout
  5. Wellness of our Leaders
  6. Understanding the Wellness Journey: A Snakes and Ladders Approach
  7. The Imperative Need for Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training for Defence Members
  8. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
  9. Training Mental Toughness - The Future of Mental Welfare | The Cove (
  10. Life is Hard. Keep yourself S.A.F.E.R

If you think you or a friend require support, the services below are always available:

  • Defence All-hours support line – The All-hours Support Line (ASL) is a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1800 628 036.
  • Defence Family Helpline – Operates 24-7, if you need support, help, or advice at any time, call 1800 624 608. The Defence Family Helpline is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
  • Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former serving ADF members and their families. They can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms website for more information.
  • Open Arms  can be accessed at: Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling.
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) provides immediate help and treatment for any mental health condition, whether it relates to service or not. If you or someone you know is finding it hard to cope with life, call Open Arms on 1800 011 046 or DVA on 1800 555 254. Further information can be accessed on the DVA website.