#Check5 is an Open Arms initiative to encourage all veterans and their family members to square away their mental health and “check-in” with 5 people in their lives. Mantle supports this Open Arms initiative.

At the forefront of #Check5 are many inspiring people including Stephanie Hodson, the National Manager at Open Arms – Veterans and Family Counselling.

Stephanie has worked for more than 20 years in Military Mental health and is passionate about helping veterans and their families. Stephanie has a PhD in Psychology and is particularly interested in resilience, professional training and improving treatments. Stephanie also served in the full-time Australian Army as a Psychologist, attaining the rank of Colonel, and held the position as head of the Australian Army Psychology Corps and is a recipient of the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) which is awarded “for outstanding devotion to duty.

We are honoured to have Stephanie as part of the Manage What Matters Initiative especially on this ANZAC Day weekend.

In this episode of Manage What Matters, Stephanie shares her insights on the importance of coming together as a community to reach out and help people who are not doing OK. Stephanie talks to Suze Jones about the importance of taking care of ourselves and our loved ones, and to have open and honest conversations about mental health, mental ill-health and suicide. Stephanie also talks about the importance of ‘treating the veteran’ but ensuring the entire family and community is part of the solution. She talks about how veterans believe they can’t seek help because they see themselves as bulletproof and asking for help could be a sign of weakness. As you’ll learn throughout this conversation, seeking help is most certainly not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of incredible strength.

To Stephanie and all the veterans in Australia and afar, thank you so much for your service! Lest We Forget.