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24 / 04 / 2020

Just like most businesses operating in these unprecedented times, not-for-profits have been finding new ways to deliver services to the community in line with social distancing requirements.

Mates4Mates is offering services such as psychology, physical rehabilitation, social connection and the Skills For Recovery Program available over the phone and online.

Townsville Liaison Officer Isaac Sciberras says the organisation has had to adapt to ensure that they could still provide much-needed support to clients despite the government restrictions.

“We’ve had to find new ways of doing things so we could make sure that veterans who need to access our services while the restrictions are in place can still do that,” he said.

“For example, it’s really important that a service like psychology is still available over the phone at this time where we’ve got lots of people in isolation and with such a major disruption to their regular lives. They might find that they need the extra support now more than ever.

“It’s been challenging trying to adapt to the sudden change in the way we operate, but the team has really come together to come up with solutions that meet the needs of our clients.”

Mr Sciberras says with Anzac Day this weekend being commemorated without the traditional services, parade and social gatherings afterwards it’s a timely reminder for us all to check in on our defence friends and family.

 “This Anzac Day will be challenging for some veterans. They will be experiencing things like loneliness, disconnection and perhaps a lack of motivation,” he said.

 “We need to work extra hard during this period to #CheckYourMates and make sure we keep their support connections strong with family and friends. If you find that your mate does need some help, let them know you’re there for them and that you care and encourage them to contact Lifeline or Open Arms for support.

 “Checking on your mates can lead to the beginning of real positive change for a friend, family member or fellow veteran that might be struggling with their mental health. It can be as simple as a phone call or text message to see how they’re going.”

 Mr Sciberras says there are many ways the community can still recognise and pay their respects to service men and women past and present by getting involved with #AnzacAtHome.

“Anzac Day is a special time to reflect on the achievements of those who have served and the achievements I made during my own service. It;s also a time to reflect with family and friends,” he said.

It will be a little strange not having the traditional services this year but we can still celebrate ANZAC Day proudly and stay connected with our friends and family.

“If people want to mark the day from home they can wake up before dawn and watch the service broadcast on ABC. They could also lay wreaths on their fences or provide ANZAC Day gifts to their neighbours, family or friends.

Most importantly, people in the community could stay connected, check in on each other, and show each other support on this important day.”


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