Veteran support charity, Mates4Mates, is calling on the community to put in a call over Christmas to a veteran who may be isolated.
Mates4Mates National Clinical Manager and Clinical Psychologist, Georgia Ash, said this year had been detrimental for the mental health of many Australians, including veterans, and isolation remained a very real concern.
“We can all make a difference this Christmas by taking time out to call friends and family who may be feeling isolated, or who have been struggling with the spotlight that’s currently on Defence,” Ms Ash said.
“Looking after the wellbeing of veterans and their families is our key priority – but we can’t do it alone.
“Over the next few weeks, please reach out to a mate to ask how they are, and let them know that help is available. This simple act can make a real difference to someone in need.
“At Mates4Mates, we’ve seen an increase in veterans presenting with mental health challenges this year, and expect this to continue rising. Support right now is more important than ever.”
Mates4Mates provides a range of support services, including psychology appointments and social connection activities to provide veterans with a supportive community.
Open Arms also provide 24-hour care via 1800 011 046 for veterans and their families, and Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14.
“There are also many other ways to stay connected throughout the holiday period if you, or those around you, are feeling isolated,” Ms Ash said.
“From organising a Christmas street get together, to scheduling in catchups via facetime, volunteering, learning a new hobby, or asking colleagues to join you for a walk – don’t go through this time alone.”
For more about Mates4Mates, phone 1300 462 837 or visit mates4mates.org.