Sometimes the hardest wounds to heal are the ones that can't be seen and the focus for RSA's 2018 Poppy Appeal is "not all wounds bleed."

Poppy sellers will be about in Whanganui next Friday April 20, and all proceeds collected will assist go to assist Whanganui war veterans and their families.

Returned Services Association welfare officer for Whanganui and South Taranaki Robbie Robertson says the appeal usually raises around $18,000 each year.

Read more: Poppy Day volunteers urgently needed for Whanganui


He says although the fund has been mostly used to support older veterans and their families with costs such as glasses, dental treatments and hearing aids, younger veterans have different needs.

"We are becoming heavily involved with the modern soldier now and Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) is common.

"There is still a stigma around it but as it becomes better understood, more people are asking for help."

RSA National President BJ Clark said the RSA was committed to providing a wide range of help to former members of the military who have served in deployments around the world.

"There's a growing demand for our support services, including an increasing number with service-induced mental health injuries," he said.

Poppy funds have also been used to support a partnership with Whanganui-based organisation the Kotuku Foundation.

Founded by Merenia Donne, the foundation trains medical assistance dogs and has begun training canine supporters for veterans experiencing PTSI.

The 2018 Poppy Appeal marks the 96th running of the appeal, making it New Zealand's oldest continuously run appeal.

ANZAC poppies will also soon be appearing on Whanganui street signs and RSA manager Kyle Dalton has been working with Whanganui District Council staff to prepare signs for unveiling.

"We will be unveiling the first one at Dustin St on Tuesday," he says.

"Claude Dustin was the first Whanganui man killed during World War I and the street was named for him."

Mr Dalton says that launching the poppies on street signs project will be a fitting lead-in to Poppy Day.