Finding The Courage
03 / 12 / 2019
The need to be strong and resilient for the job is often the problem in asking for help, according to Major Matt Finnerty, Major Army HQ 11 Brigade.
“In the ADF, we pride ourselves on our strength, and often we feel it is a weakness to admit that we may not be doing well mentally and emotionally. However the reality is that finding the courage to talk about your feelings, to reach out to someone and tell them you’re not doing so well takes incredible strength.”
“We all experience these feelings from time to time.”
Major Finnerty says the transient nature of the job is one of the reasons why it is easy to become disconnected. “I have served for more than ten years on and off in Townsville and I have had periods unaccompanied by my family, so I know how hard it can be. It is difficult for relationships to sustain and the stresses involved in postings can take their toll on family life. This is why it is so important to keep connected with your mates, to keep an eye on them and if something feels off, to have a chat about it. It's also important to know that we all experience these feelings from time to time.”
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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