LETTERS TO THE ED: Royal Commission into Defence suicides

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Support for Royal Commission

“Shellshock” they called it when men seemingly lost all reason in the trenches of Europe in WWI.

“Battle fatigue” was another term used when fighting men returned home, quiet, distracted, bad-tempered and turning to alcohol before ending the torment with a permanent solution to the war still going on in their heads.

Now we say “nervous breakdown” and “PTSD”, but while we use these terms to recognise the well-known problem of terrible mental health outcomes for defence personnel, we don’t seem to be any closer to a remedy.

I wholeheartedly welcome Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of a Royal Commission into veteran and defence suicides because we all want to do better by our veterans and serving personnel.

This announcement is particularly timely leading up to Anzac Day but I am incredibly saddened by a growing anti-military mindset that seems to gain more traction each year.

We don’t glorify war, but we should certainly glorify those who put on their country’s uniform, and we should prove we value their service by fully investigating the struggles they go through.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for people aged between 15 and 44, and former and serving defence personnel are overrepresented in this sad statistic.

I would like to thank all the government and non-government support services working every day to provide counselling and support for Defence personnel and their loved ones.

And I sincerely thank all Defence Force members – past and present – for their service.

– Susan McDonald, North Queensland-based LNP Senator for Queensland

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Harry's view on hydrogen hub for Gladstone.
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SMS TO THE EDITOR

WB, AYR. When a ex defence member commits a crime, why do they have to bring up his occupation ie a former soldier, you don’t see other peoples former occupation highlighted. What this person did was wrong however he has been discharged and now he is a civilian the military side of his life is finished. The only people damaged by this story are the serving members of the three services protecting your lifestyle and freedom.

LPMC. Yesterday, Qld Health Minister D‘Ath informed parliament that Qld’s health system is failing due to GP shortages and people not getting NDIS packages. Really, come on Minister “We All Know ” that you, previous Minister Steven Miles and the whole Labor Govt have failed to control govt depts, their budgets and services. When you continue spend, spend, spend, employ more bureaucrats with no proficiency, you don’t get a result and fail. Don’t blame the global crisis, look in the mirror. Qld’s a mess now, “We All Know ” nothing will improve under your direction and the failure to supply services will continue.

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