Anzac Day 2020
08 / 04 / 2020
Townsville veterans are being urged to #CheckYourMates as the region prepares to commemorate Anzac Day under isolation.
Veteran led group, Operation Compass has launched its latest campaign encouraging the defence community to reach out to their mates with messages of support in the lead up to what experts say is one of the most sensitive times for veteran suicide and mental health.
“What we know is that Anzac Day, under normal circumstances, is a particularly difficult time for those in our veteran community who are struggling,” Operation Compass Chairman Retired Lieutenant-General John said.
“But with Anzac Day ceremonies cancelled across the country this year and everyone being instructed to stay at home due to COVID-19, we are keen to enable veterans and their families to support and connect with each other.”
Operation Compass Project Manager Ray Martin said it was important for everyone to let their mates know that they have somewhere to turn if they are need support.
“This latest campaign is really about prevention through connection,” Mr Martin said.
“It’s more important than ever for us to check in on our family members and our mates, but social distancing means that we’re going to have to do things a little bit differently.
“That’s why we’re asking our community to send messages of support to encourage everyone to check in on five mates over this period to make sure they’re doing okay and seeking mental health support if they need it by phone text, skype or social media.”
In the past 20 years, more serving and retired Australian soldiers died by suicide than on the battlefield. Operation Compass was established as a platform to identify how to best prevent suicide and it’s been established that one of the best methods is to empower veterans to stay connected to more in their community.
To show your support for the latest Operation Compass campaign, record a short video explaining why it’s important to #CheckYourMates this Anzac Day and send it via direct message on the Operation Compass Facebook page by Wednesday 15 April.