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Suicide awareness for the ex-service community

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Emma’s Story: Feeling like a failure

This is a fictional case study

Scene Description:

Young woman in her 20s sitting and telling her story


When I was serving in the military I found it really hard to fit in. I had originally joined as I felt that my family expected me to follow their careers. My father had been a soldier and my grandfather a pilot. Mum was a nurse.

Half way through my training I injured my right knee but I somehow managed to make it through through basic training.

Because my knee never fully healed, I thought I was holding everyone else back. That I was a waste of space, a liability to my unit. Though I wanted to stay I agreed to a medical discharge with the help of a Doctor. The pain and shame I felt for having failed my family was too much, I couldn’t face them and I had no hope for my future.

The week after I left I decided to take all the strong pain relief pills my Doctor had given me in one go to just, end it all, and I took all the pills.

Luckily, Mum had been really worried about me and concerned and so she came and checked on me. She found me unconscious and she called an ambulance. God, I felt so guilty.

I stayed in hospital for a while and now I’m getting some good counselling and I’m starting to understand that it wasn’t my fault, and that I haven’t let anyone down.

Thank god for my Mum. I understand now that my family loves me no matter what I decide to do. Things are looking up and I’ve decided to study something new at Uni.

Need assistance?

For immediate assistance when life may be in danger Call 000

For national 24/7 help lines and crisis support counselling:

  • VVCS
    (Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service)
    1800 011 046
  • ADF All Hours Support Line
    1800 628 036
  • Lifeline Australia
    13 11 14
  • Mens Line
    1300 78 99 78
  • National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line
    1800 737 732
  • Kids Help Line (for 5-25yrs)
    1800 55 1800
  • Suicide Call Back Service
    1300 659 467
  • Salvation Army Crisis Line
    1300 36 36 22

Stories from those touched by suicide

Mary’s Story: Living with a husband with undiagnosed PTSD

Mary’s own mental health suffered until she felt that suicide was the only answer.

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Tom’s Story: Not coping post-discharge

When Tom hit rock bottom, he felt that only suicide would stop the pain, until a mate stepped in.

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Jayden’s Story: When Dad died

When Jayden’s father committed suicide, it left him feeling like it was his fault.

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Mathew: My son Daniel

I saw my son Daniel change after Afghanistan and I didn’t know how to help until it was almost too late.

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