Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA

Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Fisheries; Veterans Issues; Asian Engagement

    Veterans’ Health Week looks at PTSD for returned armed services

    26/10/2017 9:10 AM
     
    • Research indicates increased suicide risk among veterans 

    Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley will use Veterans' Health Week today to turn the spotlight on the tragic problem posed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for members of the armed forces.

     

    Mr Tinley will raise the issue before the Ellenbrook sub-branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) this morning where he will also discuss other topics such as the need to improve data collection about veterans in the community and helping former servicemen and women transition to civilian life.

     

    The Minister will deliver the opening address as part of a day-long schedule of activities for Veterans' Health Week organised by the RSL.

     

    Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley:

     

    "Health is an important issue for everyone in the community, but Veterans' Health Week gives us an opportunity to focus on some of the specific difficulties faced by many serving and former members of the armed forces.

     

    "Individuals in other parts of our society are also affected by this terrible problem, but research figures indicate PTSD among veterans is much higher per capita than other sectors of the community.

     

    "A previous study of Vietnam veterans found the occurrence of PTSD was 40 times greater than in the general population.

     

    "A few months ago the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that between 2001-15 there were 325 certified deaths among people with at least one day of service in the armed forces since 2001.

     

    "To put this in perspective, in Afghanistan 41 soldiers were killed during the same timeframe.

     

    "Research also indicates that it can take up to 10 years before veterans present with symptoms of PTSD - which means that we may only be just starting to see the longer-term mental health consequences of the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

     

    "This situation is untenable and it is my conviction that we need to put greater effort into protecting, nourishing and ensuring the wellbeing of our veterans.

     

    "This is one of the reasons why I am keen to see improved data collection systems that can help identify veterans in our community and subsequently offer them more early intervention and support services that can help counter the fatal consequences of PTSD."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 5300