NQ Connect Veterans

NQ Connect: Operation Compass provides a free phone and online counselling service for veterans, Defence members and their families living and working in the Townsville region.

We recognise that many current serving and ex-Defence members are reluctant to talk about how their experiences affect their mental health. A common belief is that talking about it is perceived as a sign of weakness.

The videos below are of veterans telling their stories. Their experience did affect their mental health, and the common thread is that they all found that talking about it helped.

Depression, anxiety and PTSD are not new among veterans. What’s changed is how it’s recognised and managed. Their message is clear: talking about it is not a sign of weakness and may actually help you feel better.


It’s for veterans, Defence members and their families

Call 1300 059 625 if you’re stressed, worried, or just need to talk about things like:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Financial stress
  • PTSD and trauma-related issues
  • Relationship and family problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Transitioning to civilian life
  • Wellbeing
  • Work stress



Lachie’s story

Lachlan Manning enlisted in the Australian Army in 2002. He was diagnosed with PTSD and depression in 2010, six months after returning from a tour of Afghanistan. He was medically discharged in 2012.


ADF veteran Lachlan Manning


Alex’s story

Alexandra Redlich was a Corporal in the Royal Australian Air Force. She completed her training in 2009 and was first deployed in 2010 on Operation Pakistan Assist II. She was discharged and became a reservist in 2016. Alex has been diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety.


ADF veteran Alex Redlich


Col’s story

Col Hamley is a WWII veteran and ex-POW. He saw action in Syria and the Middle East before his unit was diverted to Java in 1942. Ordered to surrender, Col survived more than three years in Japanese captivity, including a significant period as a forced labourer on the Burma Railway.


ADF Col Hamley Manning


View more Operation Compass stories

View more NQ Connect Operation Compass stories from around the Townsville region.


ADF Col Hamley Manning


NQ Connect provides a free counselling and support service for current serving and ex-ADF members and their families living and working in northern Queensland. The service is presented by Operation Compass.

Call 1300 059 625 for a private and entirely non-judgemental talk with a professional counsellor. Alternatively, you can opt for web chat. Scroll down to access more mental health resources and self-help tools.

Support services database

An online list of health services and facilities available to veterans and former Defence personnel.

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Veterans forum

Get help and support from fellow veterans and current or former Defence personnel and families.

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K10 test for depression and anxiety

A self-administered test to help you determine to what extent you’ve recently been experiencing depression or anxiety.

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Mental health resources

Mental health topics and resources for veterans.

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mHealth app

Monitor your mental health with the mHealth self-administered app.

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Articles and features on a range of mental health topics.

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