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.

Cyclone Debbie image gallery

Cyclone Debbie hits the Whitsundays, 1pm Tuesday March 28.

Cyclone Debbie wreaks havoc in the Whitsundays.

Yachtie takes refuge in mangroved creek

A yacht moored in Pioneer Bay bares the full brunt of Cyclone Debbie.

IAN Willett is no stranger to cyclones.

Local Partners

TC Debbie still packing a punch but downgraded to Cat 3

Tropical Cyclone Debbie was down graded to a Catogory 3 at about 3pm, but its not over yet.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

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.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Married at First Sight's controversial groom laying low

MARRIED At First Sight groom Anthony is laying low as he cops national backlash after being portrayed as a “controlling” husband.

Seven, Nine’s crazy cyclone battle

Ruth Western ain't got time for Cyclone Debbie.

Reporters are battling fierce winds, and locals who won’t play ball.

MAFS bride shops around new love story

Nadia Stamp has put a price tag on her new man.

Nadia is shopping her $4000 new man ... and it’s not Anthony.

Amy Shark takes out top prize at Queensland Music Awards

Amy Shark won three Queensland Music Awards last night.

VIOLENT Soho, Dami Im and The Amity Affliction also honoured.

Kyle Sandilands declares war after dodgy editing

Shock jock Kyle Sandilands has issued a grim on-air warning

HEARTBREAK: M'boro farmer misses out on love on reality show

Susan Rawlings and Sean Hollands in a scene from Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Hearts were broken during Sunday's Married at First Sight episode.

MKR recap: The one where they actually get around to cooking

It’s amazing. They’re actually doing some cooking on this episode.

IT’S been nine weeks and the MKR teams shock us by actually cooking.

Coffee king snaps up gym

Mooloolaba Healthworks site sells for $2.1million

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Oceanside commercial opportunity in Sunshine Coast hot spot

Adjoining Kings Beach redevelopment sites "one of a kind''

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!