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Once-homeless veteran breaks down after hearing suicide prevention announcement

A veteran who spent years living on the streets has broken down in tears at the announcement of a National Commissioner for Defence and Suicide Prevention.

The federal government will spend $40 million setting up the office which will have the same powers as a royal commission but on a permanent basis.

The announcement is being hailed as “a step in the right direction” by Julie-Ann Finney, the heartbroken mother who led the campaign after losing her son to suicide.

Ex-serviceman Shannon phoned Ray Hadley after hearing the news, thanking those who led the fight.

“I’ve been trying to get help for the last 20-odd years. I was homeless for three years, living in Martin Place.

“I’ve got great support now but just trying to get help, just trying to get the proper professional trauma care that we need.

“To know this is ongoing, not just a one-off has just blown my mind,” Shannon said as he broke down in tears.

Click PLAY below to hear Shannon’s emotional call

Shannon was overcome with emotion, with Ray Hadley saying it highlights just how important this announcement is for our veterans.

“Shannon’s quite emotional and I don’t wish to impose on him any further… but I’m glad it’s bringing Shannon some hope,” says Ray.

“You can imagine what this is doing for these returned servicemen and women, the fact that it’s not just a one-off royal commission.

“This is one of the great days for Australia. This is a great day for Australia and it’s all down to people power.”

 

If you are experiencing difficulties please contact:

Lifeline – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636.

 

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Image: File photo (Getty)

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