The South Coast chapter of the Veterans Motorcycle club has welcomed the announcement of $5 million for a veteran's wellbeing center in Nowra.
Chapter president Danny Kennedy said connection was an important cornerstone of mental health for veterans.
"The veterans motorcycle club was formed by returned Vietnam veterans - every club across the country does what we're doing, tries to help other veterans," he said.
"There have been guys in the club who have been in and out of South Coast Private six times in a year because of attempted suicide.
"They come to the club, and some have been in it for a few years now, and they have not been back to hospital. There's something in that.
"Veterans can be a bit out there, a lot of mental issues are helped by riding motorbikes. That camaraderie, understanding each other, the love of motorbikes and the love of defence, that draws us together."
He said mental health was the biggest issue facing veterans.
"Australia-wide, there's an epidemic of mental illness," he said.
"There are plenty of ex-service organisations to go to, but there's only one psychiatrist who works in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs who works in Nowra. He's left the area.
"The closest we can go to is South Coast Private in Wollongong or St John of God in Richmond.
"The suicide rate is horrible. When people come back from deployment, or there is an accident at training, they need to be treated then, not when (issues like PTSD) manifest.
"Early intervention is the way to go."
Mr Kennedy also had an idea for the site of the proposed centre.
"Out at Albatross, there is an empty block of flats that are going to be bulldozed," he said.
"I think money would be well spent refurbishing them and turning it into a veterans wellness centre.
"There's room for emergency housing, offices, you name it."