Community

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.
WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend. Chris Ison ROK100317cpoppy2

DISCHARGED after more than a decade of military service, life became an everyday battle for veteran Andrea Josephs.

Post-natal depression and bipolar are just two of the misdiagnoses she was dealt before medical professionals realised Andrea was gripped by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Two years ago, the mother of four daughters tried to take her own life.

It wasn't her first attempt, but was the first her children knew about.

Only when her 14-year-old reached out with a tribute video, did Andrea's life find new meaning and Matilda Poppy, a not-for-profit veteran support organisation, was born.

"It was her way of expressing that she was proud of me, and that she could see me, as I was, feeling invisible in the world at the time of my suicide attempt; she wanted to show me she understood and my other daughters felt the same," Andrea said of her daughter's actions.

"At the end of the day I have had several suicide attempts, sexual assault, I've been through the dark process."

 

Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial.
Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial. Chris Ison ROK100317cpoppy1

Andrea, who moved from Brisbane to Emu Park in December last year, said her lived experience became the essence of Matilda Poppy, a concept which initially represented "one veteran, one voice, one family, one lived experience".

After finding "peace and happiness" in what Andrea describes as the most patriotic town she has come across, she now plans to launch Matilda Poppy for he first time in Australia at the Emu Park markets this Sunday, March 19.

Andrea is sole founder and financier, and all her efforts will go towards funding veteran support services, advocating for legislative change and acknowledging all Australian Defence Force members, veterans and their families in their life, pride, respect and service.

The crux of Andrea's dream for Matilda Poppy is simple; that every Australian acknowledge a veteran and their service to show them they are valued, that they matter. Andrea's struggle to achieve this though is far from simple.

"I just want to change the narrative, I want people to realise that a veteran is not a dead veteran, they are living, they are people amongst you," she said.

"Don't be afraid to walk up to someone and say "g'day, thank you", you never know that that might be the one thing that could stop them taking their own life. If we can get to that with the families and the veterans themselves we will see a lot less suicide and homelessness."

Connect with Matilda Poppy via Facebook, or visit the website matildapoppy.com

Official launch:

  • Emu Park Markets, Bell Park on Sunday, March 19
  • Markets begin 7am, official launch from 10am
  • Community invited to attend

Topics:  anzac australian defence force emu park military ptsd whatson


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Man taken to hospital after Tarong crash

FILE PHOTO: Queensland Ambulance Service on scene of an accident.

The crash occurred at about 7am.

Running on together in reconciliation

GO: The Murgon to Cherbourg Fun Run takes off.

Murgon to Cherbourg fun run gets more than 500 participants

Pyrography an intricate art

Bessie Smith demonstrates pyrography at the Blackbutt Show

Ancient art form helps keep blood pressure down

Local Partners

Celebrity chef's a drawcard at pumpkin fest

Matt Golinski will be on hand at the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival to demonstrate the many ways you can cook pumpkin.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!