96th Poppy Day focuses on moral and psychological injuries

by Andrew McRae / 20 April, 2018

Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read

Hamilton RSA Poppy Day co-ordinator Pat McCarthy. Photo / Andrew McRae

The 96th Poppy Day Appeal is underway today with collectors out in force raising money to support this country's veterans of war, conflicts, natural disasters and peace-keeping operations.

Funds raised go towards supporting the growing needs of 41,000 veterans and their families.

Last year $1.9 million was raised.

The theme for this year's appeal is Not All Wounds Bleed, a reference to the fact that mental health injuries are the most common but least understood of all wounds suffered by service men and women.

RSA national support manager Mark Compain said physical injuries - which were easier to understand - had in the past received more prominence than the silent causalities of trauma injuries, but that was changing.

"Moral and psychological injuries are actually the signature wound for this post-Vietnam generation."

He said it was timely to focus on that because it was a significant issue.

"Not only for the military but also for New Zealand in general."

Mr Compain said service personnel faced the same barriers to opening up about how they were feeling as did the generation of veterans from the two world wars.

"You have the military culture and training which is designed to make us expect adversity and challenges as being normal and to push on.

"It is still a huge challenge for veterans of any age to come forward and talk about this," he said.

Some of the money raised in the appeal goes toward things such as supporting people with post traumatic stress injury and providing assistance dogs and counselling.

The RSA's national president BJ Clark said while a lot of support was going to help younger veterans, older veterans were not being forgotten.

He said everyone who had served would be looked after.

"The country has always said that when you go away and serve this country we will look after you."

Mr Clark said while that had not always happened, servicemen and women had the right to expect that.

The RSA was working with young veterans to encourage them to engage with the organisation to see what help and services are available.

He said the RSA was extremely grateful for the support it received from the public.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose the Ku Klux Klan
95069 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z History

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose t…

by Dick Lehr

How a young reporter infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan - and discovered the truth about its conman leader David Duke.

Read more
The EV battery scare shows the urgent need to support green technology
95080 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Environment

The EV battery scare shows the urgent need to supp…

by The Listener

With nearly half of New Zealanders considering buying an EV in the next two years, the results could be electrifying.

Read more
Limits don't apply to dancer Aloalii Tapu's work
93844 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Arts

Limits don't apply to dancer Aloalii Tapu's work

by Kate Richards

Otara-raised Aloalii Tapu uses a myriad of dance influences to express his ideas about manhood, suicide and post-colonialism.

Read more
The artist and poet who refused to play by the narrow rules of NZ art
94118 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Arts

The artist and poet who refused to play by the nar…

by Sally Blundell

Decades in France have made Douglas MacDiarmid an elusive figure in NZ art history. A new biography delivers a vital portrait of the 96-year-old.

Read more
12 of the best op shops in Auckland
95053 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Where to go in Auckland

12 of the best op shops in Auckland

by Vomle Springford

With Auckland’s high cost of living, it can be hard to fork out for new clothes, or new anything really. But op shops are plentiful here.

Read more
How virtual reality can help us understand how we think
95019 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Psychology

How virtual reality can help us understand how we …

by Marc Wilson

When you're flying through the air like superman in virtual reality, chances are you'll brace for impact at landing.

Read more
Where to eat this ski season
94882 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Food

Where to eat this ski season

by Kate Richards

A trip to the snow doesn’t have to mean a diet of hot chips and sad hotdogs.

Read more
Simon Bridges' spending leak: Hunt for leaker begins
95064 2018-08-16 10:38:12Z Politics

Simon Bridges' spending leak: Hunt for leaker begi…

by Jo Moir

All eyes are on National Party MPs, the office of the Speaker and Parliamentary Service now the hunt for the leaker has begun.

Read more