Disconnection is the Danger Zone
03 / 12 / 2019
Recently discharged after six years of service, Kelsey Nugent says the real danger lies in disconnection.
“When I think about the current statistics surrounding suicide and mental illness in our ex-defence personnel, it makes me so sad. I know I wouldn’t be who I am with the ADF. I was fortunate to have six years in this community and the mateship you experience is next level. Inside the ADF, you have incredible levels of support, mateship, camaraderie and a sense of purpose. Once you leave, this falls away and can leave you feeling disconnected and alone. You miss the connection.
“I know there has been a stigma around mental health and it is difficult for people to ask for help or talk about their feelings. It doesn’t help when there is a stereotype about people in defence, in that they must be strong, resilient and brave. We need to know and spread the word that it is ok to not feel strong or brave at all times and to reach out for help. When we connect, we feel better and life gets better.”
The Check Your Mates campaign is an outcome of the Operation Compass project - the ex-ADF and Families Suicide Prevention Project, based in Townsville. Operation Compass is one of 12 National Suicide Prevention trial sites funded by the Commonwealth Government. It is the only project focused exclusively on veterans of the ADF and their families. The project is coordinated through the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network.
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