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Neighbours star Madeleine West reveals private family tragedy and how the devastating NSW floods left her dealing with traumatic memories

Madeleine West has stated that her soldier relative Geff committed suicide, and that seeing army troops being ‘abused’ during the flood clean-up brought back memories.

On Sunday, the 44-year-old uploaded an emotional Instagram post with a long text that included a photo of Geff in uniform.

‘I never imagined I’d say this out loud, but today I will,’ wrote the former Neighbours star.

‘This is Geff, my cousin. He gladly served his nation, yet he returned from Afghanistan traumatised. His battle with mental illness eventually led to his suicide at the age of 25.

‘I worked with members of our Defence Force yesterday, cleaning up around Lismore, and witnessed them being abused,’ she continued.

‘Our community is great; I understand that people are furious and frustrated, but it is critical to remember that everyone in uniform is also a person.

‘And many people are going above and beyond their job duties to help bring the recovery along.’ The influence on service personnel’s mental health has been discussed by Chief Superintendent Patterson.

‘Remember that beneath the uniform is a mother, a father, a sister, a daughter, a brother, a son – someone who is loved and doing the best job they can.’

‘We’re all under duress, and we’ve been betrayed.’ However, kindness may go a long way in such a trying time.’

Madeleine has been helping to clean up after the disastrous floods in NSW.

She made an emotive plea for additional volunteers to help in the aftermath of the devastating floods earlier this month.

The actress broke down numerous times while making her brief message in a video shot in the wreckage-strewn streets of Lismore’s CBD.

‘It’s terrible, terrible, terrible,’ she continued. ‘I’m at a loss for words to explain the grief.’

Everything in the regional city was ‘destroyed, shattered, or washed away,’ according to West, who lives in the Byron Bay suburb of Suffolk Park, approximately 45 minutes away.

Countless towns in Northern NSW and Queensland were flooded this month, causing cleanup delays in some regions that were still inundated.

For confidential support contact Lifeline 131 114

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