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Defence Focus on Mental Health

Defence PTSDThis month, Defence will hold its inaugural ADF Mental Health Day on 10 Oct and launch a documentary on PTSD. Major General John Cantwell also releases his autobiography that talks about his brave struggle with PTSD and depression.

Army, in conjunction with Joint Health Command and singer songwriter John Schumann, have produced a 30-minute documentary designed to address stigma, offer support and raise awareness of the issues surrounding PTSD for Army personnel and their families. Featuring Army members who share their own experiences with PTSD, the movie supports the important message of ‘look after yourself, your mates and your family.’

This month, Major General John Cantwell has also released his compelling autobiography Exit Wounds: One Australian’s War of Terror (978-0-522-86178-5), which deals with his brave struggle with PTSD and depression.  Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTJYnIg46Wc

Traumatic events such as those involving actual or threatened death or serious injury, or witnessing human deprivation (eg regions ravaged by famine or war), can have a strong impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is one of a range of mental disorders that individuals can experience after traumatic events. PTSD can be distressing with negative consequences for your health and wellbeing. It can affect anyone, but there is help available.

The documentary aims to de-stigmatise PTSD and to show that it can potentially happen to anyone who has been exposed to a traumatic event. Developing symptoms of post traumatic stress after exposure to trauma is not a sign of weakness—it is simply being human.

Recovery rates from PTSD are high but early diagnosis and treatment are particularly important. Generally, the longer the symptoms persist, and go untreated, the longer the eventual recovery will take and the greater the disruption to the person’s work, family and enjoyment of life.

Singer Songwriter John Schumann, who wrote ‘I Was Only 19’, is the narrator of the documentary and helps walk viewers through diagnosis, treatment and effects of PTSD on individuals and their families. John Schumann also shares his personal experience with PTSD in the film.

More Info: http://www.defence.gov.au/health/DMH/PTSD_DVD.htm

 


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