On Tuesday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! we caught a different side of the usually outspoken former Tasmanian senator, Jacqui Lambie.
In a deep conversation with her campmates, Jacqui opened up about an emotional and dark period back in 2009 that led to an attempt to take her own life.
After serving in the Australian Army for ten years, Jacqui suffered a tormenting back injury that affected her ability to train and eventually resulted in her being medically discharged in 1999.
However, it was in the years that followed that the mum-of-two went through the most emotional turmoil, taking on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in a fight for proper treatment and the right to a military disability pension.
It was a decade-long dispute that took up what was left of Jacqui’s will to fight and pushed her to the point where she attempted to take her own life.
While sharing her story with journalist Natasha Exelby and model Justin Lacko, the former politician explained that because it took so long for the department to respond, it ended up costing them more in back pay.
“It cost them double the amount to fight me,” she said. “Your taxpayers’ money was wasted and I lost 10 years of my life and I nearly lost my life in 2009.”
“[After that], they started to give me help, so I spent the next two years in and out of a psych unit, I think I spent about 28 weeks there,” she continued.
Thankfully, Jacqui made it through those harrowing days, and two years on she continued to fight for what she believes in and the rights of fellow war veterans – only this time as a federal senator for Tasmania.
“The day I won my seat in parliament… exactly two years before was my last day in a psych unit. You see, I keep telling you they’re nuts up there in Canberra. I fit in very well there,” she joked.
Jacqui now keeps the scar on her leg as a reminder of what she went through saying, “I refuse to get it fixed because it reminds me of what I’m fighting for,” Lambie added.
“I just refuse to. That got me help. So I rehabilitated myself.”
Following her raw admission, many viewers took to Twitter, to express how impressed they were:
— Nicky Laughton (@Hawksnicky) January 15, 2019
I am very proud to have served our ADF, but have lost many friends to mental health. If @JacquiLambie can shine even just the littlest bit of light on it, then that's a win! #ImACelebrityAU #CelebJacquie
— Reannon Johnson (@reannonjohnson) January 15, 2019
Jacqui lambie’s story should be a reminder to all that you shouldn’t be too quick to judge people you meet cause deep down you don’t know their story… Well done jacqui 👏👏#ImACelebrityAU
— AMY ⭐️ (@amyjane_76) January 15, 2019
— kiki_s27 (@s27_kiki) January 15, 2019
— Dylan Matthews (@DylanMatthews91) January 15, 2019