Veteran Jesse Bird, who took his own life, spent years asking for help, says mate
Laura Armitage, Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader
July 16, 2017
"On June 27 — on National PTSD Awareness Day, and three weeks after getting the letter — the 32-year-old took his life."
A FORMER soldier from Boronia says a fellow veteran who committed suicide did so only after spending seven years trying to get officials to recognise his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Phil Hodgskiss said his mate and fellow veteran Jesse Bird, from St Kilda, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and returned in 2010.
Mr Hodgskiss said since his return, Mr Bird tried to get the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognise his PTSD and other conditions, but it was a recent rejection letter for permanent impairment compensation that was the final straw.
A copy of the rejection letter was posted on a Facebook page of The Warrior’s Return — a group that provides services for returned servicemen and is run by veterans and their families.
The post said Mr Bird’s claim was rejected “because there is evidence the impairment you suffer from … post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, alcohol abuse, is not considered permanent and stable at this time”.
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