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Reach out to a mate this Veterans’ Health Week

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One of our leading military compensation experts is urging veterans, and friends and families of veterans, to reach out to their mates this Veterans’ Health Week.

The theme for 2015 focuses on our veteran’s mental wellness’, especially for those returning from a war or peacekeeping zone.

Slater and Gordon Military Compensation Lawyer Brian Briggs said the mental health of veterans is an increasingly important issue

“Veterans and military personnel often struggle with mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug dependency, among other issues,” Mr Briggs said.

“However, we also know that many people suffer in silence.

“There is a perceived stigma that comes with talking about mental health issues and many of my clients tell me they fear they’ll be treated differently or jeopardise their future career if they seek care or talk openly about their struggles.

“There is also a strong sense that ‘whinging’ or taking time out to seek help would be letting their mates down.

“There is definitely a culture where to seek help is an admission of weakness.”

Mr Briggs says these attitudes need to change.

“We need to send a strong message – to our mates, to our loved ones and to society – that mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness.

“That’s why reaching out to your mates or loved ones, letting them know you care and letting them know that you are there for them, is so important.

“Mental illness can be extremely isolating for those affected and their loved ones. That’s why it’s crucial your mates and loved ones know they are not alone.

Mr Briggs said there were a number of organisations who assisted veterans and their families including Mates for Mates, Legacy and RSL LifeCare.