Post-deployment: How and what experiences to share

We cannot overstress the importance of therapeutic value derived from talking to trusted people about your experiences. Talking is generally always a good thing as long as you do so to the right people at the right time. So our advice is get talking to people you trust and respect.

Below are some suggestions about how you might start a discussion when you are not sure how to.

Share things related to your experiences

  • These may include photographs, memorabilia or a diary
  • Choose these items carefully as they may trigger powerful and unwelcome memories.

Talk about your reactions to your experiences

  • Explain how you feel when you hear a loud or sudden noise
  • Describe your feelings on returning to a non-operational environment. For example, you know it is safe at home, but somehow you can’t seem to stop being constantly alert to danger.

Discuss how you are coping with your experiences

  • If things are difficult say so and ask people to give you some help, time and space if you feel it to be necessary
  • Share with them any pamphlets and handouts (including this Young Diggers website) that you have been given to support you in your homecoming, and in the aftermath of any traumatic incident you may have witnessed or been involved in
  • Describe significant comrades and friends who were deployed with you; explain what they were like and what you learnt from them
  • Talk about how you view of life may have changed and what you feel the future has to offer since your return
  • If applicable to your circumstances, share what it was like to be immersed in a different culture whilst in theatre and what differences you observed on your return home

If you have any questions and need assistance click here to tell us 'What's up?' or to give us a call

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