open arms mental wellness training

Open Arms Mental Health & Wellbeing Course Training Opportunities

Disaster Relief Australia works in communities who have experienced and are recovering from disasters. Sometimes we can sit down and chat to families and property owners who might just need to debrief, have a cup of tea and chat.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know the right words to say in these situations. DRA would like to offer training to our members to help in this environment.
We are very pleased to partner with Open Arms who offer courses in Mental Health and Wellbeing. Open Arms have released their course dates for the next 6 months!
The RSVP for all the courses within this EOI is Monday 25th January, so don’t delay in getting your responses returned.

TRAINING EVENT: Various Mental Health Courses
LOCATION: Adelaide
DATE: Various – See information below
RSVP: Please note the RSVP for all courses below is Monday 25th March.

Open Arms provides a variety of Mental Health related courses free of charge to Veterans, Family of Veterans or those working with Veterans (which is anyone involved with DRA). These courses provide a variety of skills and strategies around coping with mental health issues or recognising when someone is dealing with a mental health issue and what you can do to offer them support.

Open Arms run the following courses which we encourage DRA Members to attend:

  • Mental Health First Aid, (2 days)
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) (2 days)
  • Suicide alertness for everyone (safeTALK) (1/2 day)
  • Online Skills Training: Suicide Prevention Start (90 min)

There will be no course fee for members who are approved for these courses.

No fuel or travel subsidy will be provided.

Members must have reached ENGAGEMENT or DEPLOYMENT READY in Muster to be eligible for DRA Training. If you are waiting on a call or have had trouble setting up your profile, please indicate this in your EOI and the mobilisation team will be in touch to help you out.

Submission of an EOI is not a guarantee of attendance. Please note: Check spam and junk folders for missing communications! You may be contacted by the mobilisation team for further information.



  • A national educational workshop to help you learn practical skills for helping a family member, friend, co-worker or other person who is experiencing mental health problems.
  • Learn how to listen and respond to someone with a mental health problem, even if they are experiencing a crisis.
  • Help someone access the support they might need as part of their recovery journey.
  • Actively reduce stigma in the veteran community, by responding appropriately to myths and misunderstandings about mental illness.
    Adelaide Workshop Dates:
    Mon 22nd & Tues 23rd March
    Mon 2nd & Tues 3rd June


  • A national educational workshop to help you in learning to see, hear and respond to suicide signals
  • Improve your skills for working with people at risk to increase immediate safety and get further help.
  • Understand why suicidal thoughts are present.
  • Work together to review risk and increase safety.
    Adelaide Workshop Dates:
    Mon 29th & Tues 30th March 2021
    Mon 10th & Tue 11th May 2021


  • A national educational workshop to help you become more alert to suicide prevention opportunities and how to offer help
  • Hear how open, direct talk about suicide can increase safety.
  • Discuss barriers to helping and practice basic helping steps.
    Adelaide Workshop Dates:
    Fri 16th April 2021
    Thurs 8th July 2021
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Mar 22 2021 - May 11 2021


08:00 - 18:00

More Info


Recent News

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    Disaster Relief Australia, a veteran-led disaster relief organisation, is collaborating with Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience initiative to increase the deployment of volunteers to more operations in fire-affected parts of Australia as part of a $2.4 million dollar partnership established during the Black Summer bushfires. This collaboration has already seen more than 2,000 specialist volunteers deployed by Minderoo Fire Fund in 2019/2020, to work on the ground with Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) volunteers, in Cobargo, NSW and in the Adelaide Hills, SA. Minderoo Foundation CEO Andrew Hagger, and Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) CEO Geoff Evans have announced a collaboration that will ensure disaster affected communities are matched with skilled and experienced volunteers to help them rebuild. DRA and the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience Fund have now also stepped up in preparation to help with recovery efforts for the Perth Hills Bushfire. Together with partners, and building on our joint experience with the Black Summer Bushfires around Australia, DRA will be managing a database of specialist volunteers who will be deployed to areas that have been identified as needing assistance. These volunteers will include Fortescue and Western Force employees, as well as Minderoo Foundation staff who will be helping coordinate logistics and communications with affected residents. As part of this new initiative, DRA is coordinating deployment and providing on the ground support for recovery efforts, and the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience Fund is meeting travel and accommodation costs for volunteers. This new collaboration ensures fire-affected communities are matched with skilled and experienced volunteers, to help them rebuild and recover from what has been the most devastating fire season in Australian history. Disaster Relief Australia boasts a 2,000-strong, highly skilled veteran volunteer force combined with emergency service specialists to help communities stabilise and recover after a devastating natural disaster. The addition of Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience volunteers to this pool allows a new level of response to emerging natural disasters. DRA CEO, Geoff Evans said “This partnership with Minderoo Foundation provides a significant boost to our on-the-ground resources. Bushfire recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, our disaster relief team bolstered by Minderoo Foundation volunteers will deploy once our mission planning is completed. We won’t give up until the job is done.” Lee Goddard, Partner Ecosystem and Ground Operations Leader Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience says of the collaboration “We are proud to be partnering with Disaster Relief Australia to significantly boost on the ground resources to assist with community recovery. Our experience since the Black Summer bushfires has involved listening to people in communities and understanding their needs, as well as monitoring and assessing where we are best placed to help so that well co-ordinated teams of volunteers can be sent in to help and fast track recovery. It is fantastic to see our fellow Australians assist others in times of need made possible through this partnership.” About Disaster Relief Australia Disaster Relief Australia unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams in Australia and around the world. Disaster Relief Australia is a not for profit organisation offering veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. Programs and services are made possible by the support of individual donors, corporate partners, and the dedication of volunteers across the country. About Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience initiative In the aftermath of the Black Summer fires, Minderoo Foundation committed AU$70 million to establish the Fire and Flood Resilience initiative. Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience initiative aims to reduce harm caused by fire and floods by harnessing the collective power of communities, industry, government, philanthropy and the research sector to lift Australia to be the global leader in fire and flood resilience by 2025. It is working with more than 60 partners to lift national resilience by delivering on the Fire and Flood Resilience Blueprint which outlines the following missions: Fire Shield: to reduce the scale and impact of bushfires by developing the capability to extinguish dangerous fires within an hour by 2025. Resilient Communities: to lift Australia’s 50 most vulnerable communities to be on par with Australia’s 50 most resilient communities by 2025. Healthy Landscapes: to halve hazard exposure in Australia’s 50 most fire and flood prone regions by 2025.

  • Due to the recent COVID-19 complications in Melbourne, we need to put Service Project Latrobe Legacy on hold while parts of Victoria enter a 5-day lockdown. Our Melbourne DRT has already been working closely with the local community conducting Damage Assessments and setting up operations in preparation for the work that needs to be completed following the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires season, and we will return as soon as possible to pick up where we left off. Our work as part of Service Project Latrobe Legacy will recommence as the situation becomes viable. We will keep the community and our members updated as circumstances unfold.

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    The 2019-20 Australian bushfire season, also known as Black Summer, saw an extended period of multiple large-scale and intense fires. Australia’s Black Summer megafires were a severe blow, with hundreds of homes lost, millions of hectares of lands burned and parts of the ecosystem destroyed.