The Agnes Water and 1700 RSL sub branch will be selling stickers to show support for returning service persons and reduce suicide.
The Agnes Water and 1700 RSL sub branch will be selling stickers to show support for returning service persons and reduce suicide. Emily Pidgeon.

Move to address returned soldier suicides in CQ

FOR soldiers returning home, the world isn't always the same place as when they left.

Agnes Water and 1770 RSL sub branch secretary Lillian Turner said a lot of returning soldiers feel unsafe after they return back to Australia.

"They come home and try to adapt to life and they can't, it's really hard for them," Ms Turner said.

"A lot of them have trust issues because they don't know who's friend and fake after seeing ten-year-old kids with bombs."

Ms Turner said four returned service men had committed suicide in the central Queensland region in the last 12 months.

 

The Agnes Water and 1700 RSL sub branch will be selling stickers to show support for returning service persons and reduce suicide.
The Agnes Water and 1700 RSL sub branch will be selling stickers to show support for returning service persons and reduce suicide. Emily Pidgeon.

Wanting to lower the number of return suicides, the Agnes Water and 1770 RSL sub branch will be selling car stickers, aiming to show returning service men and women they have community support.

"(The stickers) are more for our younger veterans coming out and committing suicide in our local area," Ms Turner said.

The program was started by a mother of a returned service person who committed suicide.

Ms Turner said 30 and 40-year-olds were usually the most affected.

"They feel very unsafe in the community," she said.

"The idea behind the sticker was if they're feeling down and they see a car go past with the sticker on then the community is behind them."

Brad Read, 17, has played The Last Post at Turkey Beach Anzac Day ceremonies for four years.
Brad Read, 17, has played The Last Post at Turkey Beach Anzac Day ceremonies for four years. Tegan Annett

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Inspired by seeing Brisbane taxi drivers using the stickers, Ms Turner said Agnes Water was one of the first to use the stickers in the region.

Wanting to show there is community support, the RSL secretary said it didn't just affect the returning service personnel but also their spouses and children.

"It takes a while. I don't think they ever get over it, they learn to live with it," Ms Turner said.

"They might move to a country town to escape the city, but the country towns often don't have the services to help them."

The stickers are $1, with all proceeds going towards a welfare centre for young returning service personnel.

The stickers will be sold at the Agnes Water newsagent from June 12 and at Agnes Water and 1770 RSL sub branch raffles.

Special edition chocolates will also be for sale at the raffles.

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