Motorcyclists rolled into Flagstaff Hill today hoping to raise awareness about suicide rates among returning service personnel.
The Military Brotherhood Military Motorcycle Club offered a free barbecue and “meet and greet” today for veterans at the maritime village.
Club member and veteran Russell ‘Guvnor’ Leggatt helped organise the event and said he hoped it could have an impact.
“Veterans suicide and PTSD in general have risen through the roof in the past few years,” he said.
“We hope get togethers like this can help reduce that.”
Mr Leggatt said the club had welfare officers that visit veterans.
“It’s hard to get back into civilian life,” he said.
Adam Kent from Young Veterans Warrnambool also attended the event.
“We find the support networks are really beneficial to mental health for young veterans,” he said.
Mr Kent said the young veterans group runs a number of activities such as fitness classes and hiking trips.
“It’s really important to have that camaraderie that you lose when you are discharged from the military,” he said.
Mr Kent said the support group is also for families.
“It’s important to note it’s also for families,” he said.
“A person’s family goes through the experience as well.”
The inaugural event started at 11am and finished at 2pm at Flagstaff Hill.