Sol­diers’ men­tal health fo­cus at na­tional cer­e­mony in Can­berra

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Can­berra: Aus­tralians have been urged to do more to help re­turned sol­diers with men­tal scars, not only hon­our those who died in bat­tle, at the na­tional Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony in Can­berra. At 11am on Novem­ber 11, 1918, the ar­mistice that ended the fight­ing in World War I was made.

Fri­day’s a minute’s si­lence was ob­served at the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial (AWM) to mark the 98th an­niver­sary of the ar­mistice and to hon­our the more than 102,000 Aus­tralians, who have died serv­ing our coun­try in all wars and the­atres of con­flict. Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Julie Bishop, Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten and Gover­nor-Gen­eral Sir Pe­ter Cos­grove were in at­ten­dance, along with a throng of other dig­ni­taries and diplo­mats. In his Com­mem­o­ra­tive Ad­dress, for­mer Vic­to­rian premier and Be­yond Blue chair­man Jeff Ken­nett drew at­ten­tion to the need for men­tal health sup­port for ser­vice­men and women. He said more re­turned mil­i­tary per­son­nel had died on home soil “by their own hand” through sui­cide in the past year alone, than died dur­ing the en­tire du­ra­tion of the Afghanistan con­flict. “We know that many, who re­turn, don’t leave those bat­tle­fields be­hind,” Mr Ken­nett said. “They bring the bat­tles home with them. Mr Ken­nett said Aus­tralians should never for­get those who had died in ser­vice, but it was also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber those who re­turned home with men­tal scars and bro­ken minds. ABC

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