Nearly two decades after Australia joined the war in Afghanistan, the Nation’s capital has fallen under Taliban control.
During this time, Soldier On’s primary consideration lies with the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing for the veteran community, with the delivery of life-changing support services to those who have participated in this conflict, and those who still carry the wounds of their service, as well as the families who have been impacted.
More than 39,000 Australian military personnel have served in Afghanistan since 2001. Of these, many have suffered physical and psychological injuries, 41 personnel have lost their lives in combat, and many more have taken their own lives as a result of their service.
Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the developments in Afghanistan may present new or resurfacing challenges for our Defence community.
“While our time in Afghanistan has amounted to great loss and sacrifice from our service personnel, as well as their families and the supporters of our forces, the impact on the lives of the Afghan people has been immeasurable. We must remember the tireless work of our brave personnel, the progress that their sacrifices have allowed, and ensure they remain supported,” Mr Slavich said.
“Now more than ever, it is important to encourage those experiencing difficulties to reach out for support. Whether it’s professional support or simply checking in on a mate, staying connected is crucial to our veteran’s health and wellbeing during these times,” Mr Slavich said.
Soldier On offers support to all serving and ex-serving personnel and their family members across the country, as well as online, and encourages the Defence community to reach out for assistance.
During this time, Soldier On’s Psychology team is available to support those who have been triggered by recent activity in Afghanistan or have a family member who may be experiencing difficulties. Soldier On also offers a range of social connection activities and programs to encourage service personnel and their family members to reconnect with themselves, each other and to build links with the wider community. While the COVID-19 pandemic may prevent many from connecting through face-to-face activities, the Soldier On team has established a variety of online activities to keep participants connected and social.
For more information about support services available around Australia, go to www.soldieron.org.au