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The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force’s (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry

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Part 10 : Reserve Assistance Program

8.10.1 Overview

The Reserve Assistance Program provides members of the Reserves and families with professional counselling advice through a contracted service provider.

Note: The Reserve Assistance Program provides access to mental health support services to members of the Reserves and their families to discuss work or personal issues. It is a confidential service.

8.10.2 Person this Part applies to

This Part applies to the following persons.

  1. Either of the following categories of member.

    1. A member who has provided Reserve service in the financial year in which the session is to be provided.

    2. A member who has committed to perform Reserve service in the financial year in which the session is to be provided.

    Exception: A member is not able to access the scheme under this paragraph while they are on continuous full-time service. However they may be eligible under paragraphs b or c.

  2. A dependant of a member described in paragraph a.

  3. A member of the household of a member described in paragraph a.

  4. Note: In the total workforce model, the following arrangements apply.

    1. A member on Reserve service may be described as a member in Service category 3, 4 or 5. A member on Service option C is not a member on Reserve service.

    2. Continuous full-time service may be described as service in Service category 6 or 7. A member who is in Service category 3, 4 or 5 and Service option C is also on continuous full-time service.

    Note: Counselling advice is available to other members from other sources.

    See: Section 8.10.7, How to get counselling advice.

8.10.3 Counselling sessions

  1. Persons this Part applies to are eligible for counselling sessions with a Defence contracted service provider.

    Examples: Persons may wish to use the Reserve Assistance Program for issues such as the following.

    1. A personal crisis.

    2. Relationship and family issues.

    3. Other physical and emotional difficulties.

  2. No more than four sessions may be claimed for each issue the person wishes to address.


    1. A member attends three counselling sessions for one issue. The member may attend four sessions for another issue that arises a few months later.

    2. The member's spouse may attend four counselling sessions without the member.

  3. The CDF may grant the person up to four additional sessions for an issue. The CDF must consider the contracted service provider's recommendation about whether more sessions are needed to resolve the issue.

    Example: If all additional sessions are approved the person gets eight sessions to discuss an issue.

  4. The CDF may make the decision in subsection 3 without knowing the identity of the person.

    Note: This provision ensures the person's privacy.

  5. If more than one person attends the same session, that session is still only counted once. It is counted against the limit of the person who requested the session.

    Note on disclosure of personal information:

    1. A Defence member may provide written consent for health information to be released to specific individuals in their chain of command.

    2. In all other situations information can only be disclosed in accordance with the exemptions to the Privacy Act 1988.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection on behalf of the CDF:
Director Defence Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Assistant Director Work Health and Safety Branch

8.10.4 Multiple benefits

A person's number of sessions under this Part is reduced by any Employee Assistance Program benefit that they are provided with because they are an APS employee employed in the Department of Defence.

8.10.5 Benefits

The only other benefit a member may get under this Determination for attendance at the session is set out in section 3.2.15.

Related Information: Chapter 3 Part 2 Division 1 section 3.2.15 permits some members to count their first session as duty. This may allow them to be paid for attending the session.

8.10.6 ...

8.10.7 How to get counselling advice

The Reserve Assistance Program can be accessed by calling 1300 361 008.

Related information:
1. Other services may be available.
2. The ADF Health and Wellbeing site lists many help numbers. These include Defence services and community support numbers, such as Lifeline.
3. You could also see your civilian general practitioner. Your civilian employer may have an employee assistance scheme.
4. In an emergency call 000.

Application to Reservists: Yes.

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Further info


Reserve Assistance Program

1300 361 008