Former soldier Jacqui Lambie has burst into tears during an emotional appearance for a veterans inquiry.
The independent Tasmanian senator sprung up as she thanked her parents and youngest son Dylan for taking care of her as her mental health deteriorated before attempting suicide in 2009.
“I want to thank my family for the 10 years of hell they went through,” she said.
“It was very difficult for them, to see their daughter, especially my mother and father, go from being well-suited to a military career, being reduced to basically just an empty person.
The independent Tasmanian senator (today left) jumped as she thanked her parents and youngest son Dylan for taking care of her when her mental health deteriorated
“I want to thank my two sons who have been through a lot and have seen their mother deteriorate over a period of ten years and its end.”
Senator Lambie has previously shared how she became addicted to painkillers and attempted suicide in 2009 after being medically discharged from the military in 2000.
Her youngest son Dylan then struggled with a meth addiction.
Addressing him directly in front of the cameras, Senator Lambie said, “I know to my youngest son that you paid a very, very high price for what you had to do to take care of me during that period, and I know you will. are. still pay the price for that.
‘Thank you. And I will speak on your behalf and tell them what you have been through and the impact it has had on your life. So thank you very much.’
Senator Lambie spoke for the R . todayofficial commission on defense and suicide by veterans, after years of campaigning for an investigation into the country’s armed forces.
The outspoken politician, who served in the military for 11 years, testified to a protracted legal battle with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs over compensation.
Senator Lambie previously discussed her battle with depression when she appeared in I’m A Celebrity in 2019 and before that in Australian Story in 2014.
Senator Lambie thanked her youngest son Dylan (pictured together in 2016) for caring for her as her mental health deteriorated
After being medically discharged from the military with a back injury, she filed for damages with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“I think I was in the books for about four months and they decided I was being vilified and they had video surveillance on me,” she told Australian Story.
That oversight was used to discredit Ms Lambie and her rights were terminated and she was forced to take a disability pension.
It was then that her life started to spiral out of control.
In 2009 she made an attempt on her own life and left a suicide note for her two sons.
“I had written a letter to both boys and left them in my draw saying this is a perfect opportunity, I had a few drinks and left,” she said.
“I’d walked in front of a car, I’d had enough, I’d had a gouge, that was it, I was done, I was gone.”
Senator Lambie suffered the loss of two front teeth, a significant scar on her forehead and a large hematoma on her thigh after being hit by the car.
After being hospitalized, she got the psychological help she needed before things started to change in her life.
Senator Lambie is pictured in a recent Instagram photo. She testified in Hobart on Friday
The Veterans Committee is holding hearings in Hobart for seven days, the final collection of evidence before delivering an interim report Thursday that focuses on issues that require urgent action.
The inquiry has reported difficulties in providing services to veterans in Tasmania, due to the isolated nature of the island nation.
Tasmania is home to more than 17,500 veterans, believed to be the highest per capita number of any state or territory.
The cohort is disproportionately affected by homelessness compared to the general population, the study has been told.
Tasmanian Veterans Affairs Minister Guy Barnett said a 2019 RSL survey of more than 400 of the state’s veterans found that about one in two had experienced mental illness in the past 12 months.
The survey, which has received more than 1,900 submissions since former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s appeal in April 2021, will provide final recommendations by June 2024.
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