It's a difficult topic but talking about your mental health is an important conversation to have.
That was the key message from a discussion hosted by the National Servicemen's Association Port Macquarie-Hastings sub-Branch.
The event, which coincided with Mental Health Week, was at Panthers Port Macquarie on October 30.
It was held in conjunction with the department of veteran affairs.
Port Nashos' president Ray Chesher said a series of speakers provided about 40 people with an overview of ways to combat mental health.
"Our key note speaker was Brendan Koivu who currently works in beyondblue's new access defence program," Mr Chesher said.
"He has been involved with this program since it began as a pilot project in 2014.
"Brendan is expanding this program nationally.
"It has been a success so far - across a limited demonstration period. He is the coach, supervisor and trainer."
Prior to taking up the role with beyondblue, Mr Koivu spent 10 years working as a paramedic in Sydney before moving to Port Macquarie and working here for four years.
He eventually moved into mental health, with the view of spending more time with his family.
It has been a success so far - across a limited demonstration period. He is the coach, supervisor and trainer.Port Nashos' Ray Chesher
Dietitian Peter Clark addressed the group on foods that help stimulate the brain.
"Peter's talk was well received and he gave suggested foods that we should consider including into our diets - oily fish, turmeric and drinking two litres of water a day," he said.
Newly elected Legacy president Alf Smith spoke about the benefits and work carried out by the organisation.
He joined the RAAF in 1952 and served for 21 years both in Australia and in a number of south east Asian countries, before moving to Port Macquarie in late 2012.
In 2016 he linked with the Port Macquarie Hastings Legacy Club eventually taking over as president at the recent annual meeting.
Port Macquarie Hastings Legacy Club provides support to some 472 beneficiaries in the local government area,
"Legacy supports mostly widows of deceased ex-servicemen, but a few of our beneficiaries are the children of veterans of relatively recent conflicts who have given their health in the service of our country," Mr Smith said.
"The work includes providing assistance to our widows by providing transport for medical appointments, assisted shopping, social outings and bus trips.
"Some widows can receive personal alarms and assistance with winter heating costs.
"We support our school-aged beneficiaries by assisting with school fees, uniforms, book as and equipment as well as camps and out of school activities."
Mr Smith said Legacy also sponsors a number of deserving children who attend the Luminosity Youth Summit held each year in Port Macquarie. All of the funds raised by the club are expended in support for local beneficiaries.
"Legacy anticipates that, as more female members of the ADF are deployed into combat areas, then it is likely that one of them will either die in service or returned damaged.
"In either case, Legacy will then need to learn how to cope with its first widower."
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