Protecting our protectors

National Manager of Open Arms, Dr Stephanie Hodson spoke with Kim Borrowdale from LivingWorks recently about some common challenges in the defence and military communities, and protecting veterans from suicide.

“Suicide in Australia is a major issue… and [veterans] are just a small part of that society. It’s all about how do we get to a point that people can safely say ‘hey I need help’ or ask ‘do you need help?',” said Dr Hodson.

“Although transitioning out of the military has many risk factors, these are all things we can intervene on…we can actually work on and be aware of [when and] how to ask your mate if they are doing ok.”

Open Arms offers online skills training developed by LivingWorks, Suicide Prevention Start. In just one hour, the online program will teach you how to recognise when someone is thinking about suicide and how to connect them to help and support. Anyone aged over 13 who has contact with or supports the veteran community can attend and no prior training is required.

“The bottom line is it’s about listening…the biggest thing we can all do is take the time to listen when somebody is asking for help,” said Dr Hodson.

If this podcast brings up some troubling emotions for you, please contact us on 1800 011 046 for support. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000.

See also: Interview transcript