Frontline mum and son back veterans and first responders hub
Every time Anita Hyatt turns up at a family's doorstep, she becomes entwined in the medical emergency and all the emotions that come with it.
The pattern is a way of life for the Mackay mum who has been a paramedic for 11 years.
She, together with her veteran son, Dylan Hyatt-Jackson, have thrown their support behind the Daily Mercury's Hub for Our Heroes campaign to build a veterans and first responders wellness centre at Kinchant Dam.
Australia's oldest-surviving Victoria Cross recipient and Vietnam War hero Keith Payne, along with Sir Peter Cosgrove, are patrons of Dr Peter Wirth's PTSD Frontline which is spearheading the project.
Ms Hyatt, speaking at the Toni Childs' concert on Sunday in support of the Kinchant Waters hub, said it would be an "absolutely amazing" place for first responders to support each other.
It would provide psychological and physiological help as well as access to accommodation, skills training, financial and legal advice, somewhere to rest and recuperate and more.
"To have other professional people and veterans who've experienced the same thing that understand, you don't have to try and get back to basics and ground level," she said.
Ms Hyatt said the Queensland Ambulance Service was a supporting organisation but it was difficult to be repeatedly involved in families' times of crisis.
"Somebody might remind you of your mother, or your child," she said.
"It's a very, very personal thing to be involved in their crisis and have to act professional and at least appear to not have it affect you.
"And there's a lot of times, especially when the resources are stretched, that people not have the time to process those events."
Her son Dylan Hyatt-Jacobson, who served with 1RAR in the Australian Defence Force, said veterans would benefit from being around frontline personnel at the Kinchant Dam hub who were not exclusively army or former army.
"After the death of one of my mates, we (service personnel) were not offered mental health (support) until we were going through the claims process so it was very difficult," he said.
The now youth justice officer said many fellow veterans defied the stigma around mental health in the ADF and sought psychological help but many did not.
He said the "all-in-one" centre would also help the difficult transition to civilian life, with himself "lucky" to have found a new career.
To read more about the Hubs for our Heroes campaign to build the Kinchant Dam hub as well as revive the Mackay RSL Club, check out the stories below:
Originally published as Frontline mum and son back veterans, first responders hub