RSL is on the search for serv­ing of­fi­cers

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

WITH an in­crease in men­tal health prob­lems in vet­er­ans or serv­ing of­fi­cers, the RSL is at­tend­ing ru­ral shows in the hopes it can reach out to those suf­fer­ing.

RSL ad­vo­cate Michael An­der­son said it was im­por­tant for those who had served or were cur­rently serv­ing to re­ceive help.

“I try and give ad­vice to vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies or war wid­ows of their en­ti­tle­ments for Legacy,” Mr An­der­son said.

“A lot of them just don’t know that they are en­ti­tled to help. What the RSL is try­ing to do now is pick up some of the younger vet­er­ans, the ones from Iraq and Afghan vet­er­ans.

“They have just dis­ap­peared, they’ve come home and headed overseas or dis­ap­peared into the bush and we’re try­ing to find them, some have men­tal health prob­lems and we’re just try­ing to look af­ter them.”

He said it was a con­stantly in­creas­ing sit­u­a­tion, with men­tal health prob­lems be­com­ing more preva­lent in our so­ci­ety.

“Un­for­tu­nately the is­sue is in­creas­ing, I think we do have a lot more men­tal health prob­lems to­day be­cause of the way Afghanistan was,” Mr An­der­son said.

“There was a big prob­lem in Vietnam of course, they went there and spent 12 months, and some were do­ing six-month tours and com­ing home.

“They’d say ‘hello dar­ling, hello kids’ and then back to Vietnam be­cause we just didn’t have enough sol­diers.

“Some of the wives are suf­fer­ing be­cause the part­ners are suf­fer­ing, be­cause we have women who went as well, and their part­ners just can’t re­late to them, some­times they need coun­selling too.”

The dif­fi­cult thing was track­ing down the vet­er­ans, he said.

“Find­ing them is prov­ing very tricky and we at­tend these coun­try shows in the hopes some may start a con­ver­sa­tion with us,” Mr An­der­son said.

“A lot of them just don’t like the RSL.

“They see it as beer and pok­ies which is the club side, the club has noth­ing to do with the RSL sub branch.”

❝ I try and give ad­vice to vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies or war wid­ows of their en­ti­tle­ments for Legacy. — Michael An­der­son

SEEK­ING HELP: RSL’s Michael An­der­son at­tends all the shows.

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