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Targeted Mental Health Programs Needed for Veterans

Greens Veterans Affairs and Mental Health spokesperson, Senator Penny Wright, has welcomed the release of a landmark Defence Force study into the mental health of troops across three forces.

"It is not surprising that when we send people into conflict zones on our behalf, they experience events and trauma that take a toll on their mental health," Senator Wright said.

 "It is vitally important that we know the extent of the challenges veterans face so that the Defence Force can provide the follow-up and support they need."

The report, of almost 30,000 defence force members, shows that rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in Defence were above average, as is suicidal ideation.

"It's understandable that troops who experience war zones will be affected by their experiences. We need to acknowledge that this is what happens, have an open discussion about it and reject any suggestion that it is a sign of weakness," Senator Wright said.

"As well as using this data to develop targeted programs, the Defence Force must educate all their personnel to encourage troops to seek help and remove the stigma still associated with these invisible injuries of war.”

Media contact – Anna Chang 0417 173 508

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