Mental health advocate connects with Veterans

The importance of mind, body and community connection was a focus for this years’ Veterans’ Day commemoration, held last Thursday at St John of God Richmond Hospital.

The Honourable Dame Professor Marie Bashir AD CVO opened the Veterans’ Day commemoration before delivering the keynote address at the hospitals’ 19th annual commemoration service.

Professor Bashir is a former Governor of NSW, a Psychiatrist and an advocate for improved mental health outcomes.

This unique gathering is a significant day in St John of God Richmond Hospital’s calendar where the focus is on acknowledgment and reflection on the psychological consequences of trauma incurred by Veterans in service.

Professor Bashir spoke about the importance of validating and supporting those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),. She was later joined by personal trainer and Soldier On Ambassador, Mr Lee Campbell, whose experience in the military fuels his passion for working with people on physical level to support their mental recovery.

“We are very appreciative of Mr Campbell who has come to Richmond to spend time with patients in the gym. It adds a tangible aspect for our patients to have a physical aspect to the day and the benefits of physical exercise in the healing process,” St John of God Richmond Hospital Chief Executive Officer Strephon Billinghurst said.

"Today, the PTSD program at St John of God Richmond Hospital supports women and men from military and emergency services backgrounds who come from all over Australia to the Hospital seeking the expertise, support and effective treatment for their condition.

“We want people to know that recovery from PTSD is possible, we see the benefits every day and know how important it is to let people know that there is hope and way to move on and recover.”