Soldiers’ mental health focus at national ceremony in Canberra
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