Holiday Support: Open Arms Peers
For many, the holiday season is a time to look forward to, as a time to relax with family and friends. For others, this time of year can be lonely and stressful. This can be especially true for some in the veteran community, for whom the pressures of deployment, transition, or missing a loved one can lead to significant mental distress.
Our Lived Experience and Community Peers draw on their own experiences from the military and mental health service system to provide relatable support to veterans and their families. Many understand first-hand the pressures of the holiday season, and a number have shared their experiences and tips for making this time of year easier.
Peer Phil joined the Australian Army in 1999 and spent his first two Christmas’s away, one based at Kapooka and the other in East Timor.
Peer Emma is a veteran, the partner of a veteran, and a mother who has raised children amidst numerous posting cycles and deployments.
Shannon’s military journey started at the age of 17, when she enlisted in the Australian Army. It was there that she met her husband and early on they became each other’s “mechanism of support and strength”.
Not knowing who to turn to for help can be a daunting thought. Peer Kristy reflects on her military journey and the success she found in reaching out for support, both from the veteran community and Open Arms.