I'm A Celebrity 2019: Jacqui Lambie Opens Up On Suicide Attempt
Content warning: This article discusses suicidal ideation.
Outspoken former Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie reveals to campmates on Tuesday night’s episode the struggles with addiction and mental health she endured that led to an attempt on her life in 2009.
Joining the Australian Army in 1989, Lambie served for 10 years until she injured her back training for overseas deployment in East Timor, when she was medically discharged.
What followed was a decade-long fight with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, battling to receive the treatment she needed, and the entitlements she was owed.
The Department accused Lambie of being a malingerer, placing her under surveillance and ultimately cancelling her military disability pension and treatment payments.
“By the time they gave me a little bit of money after seven years to give me a little bit of pay -- or back pay because I had to fight them for so long -- it cost them more to fight me,” Lambie told Natasha Exelby.
“It cost them double the amount to fight me, your taxpayer's money was wasted and I lost 10 years of my life and nearly lost my life in 2009 by walking out in front of a car,” she said.
“I had to walk out in front of a car to get them to help me.”
Exelby shared a harrowing statistic regarding the war in Afghanistan, saying that almost 10 times the number of soldiers who were killed took their own lives after returning.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” Lambie added.
This isn’t the first time the mum of two opened up about the low-point in her life. In an interview with Lisa Wilkinson for The Sunday Project Lambie was reminded of the letters she wrote to her sons, claiming she felt like a burden and “no use to them anymore”.
“We never actually talked about that, the three of us,” Lambie told Wilkinson, “So yeah, it was a really difficult time.”
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play. I’m A Celebrity Saturday Schoolies airs Saturdays at 7 on 10 and 10 Play.
Main Image: Network Ten.