Battle Scars: a Crikey investigation
Battle Scars is a Crikey series examining post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues among younger Australian veterans. We share the stories of veterans who have battled themselves, both during and after their time in the military. We talk to the the psychologists who developed new programs after realising the ones designed after the Vietnam war weren’t working for today’s veterans. We interview the Department of Veterans’ Affairs about its role in supporting the mental health of veterans. Plus, we speak to the families left to deal with the consequences when it all falls apart.
- Part 1: Fighting the ADF’s warrior culture on mental health: An introduction to mental health issues in the military.
- Part 2: Fighting on ‘until you’re about to put a rope around your neck‘ :Steve Ager couldn’t admit his psychological suffering to himself, and was then warned off admitting it to his military superiors.
- Part 3: How the government treats broken soldiers: The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is in charge of helping veterans struggling with mental health issues. Its deputy director speaks to Crikey.
- Part 4: Breaking PTSD stereotypes: As a young female navy veteran in her 30s, Hannah Parker doesn’t fit the mould of a post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer.
- Part 5: How angry young veterans rewrote PTSD treatment:Younger veterans battling PTSD have different issues than from the Vietnam days – new treatment programs were needed.
- Part 6: Why soldiers should kill with drones not guns: An anonymous ex-navy officer calls for more drones to avoid soldiers being so affected by what they’ve seen.
- Part 7: ‘I wish I could have the man I married back’: One anonymous young army wife reveals just how difficult it is to live with a veteran battling PTSD.
- Part 8: Veterans and their families respond: Ex-military personnel and family of veterans weigh in on mental health in the military.
- Part 9: Crikey says: these scars may never heal: Crikey‘s investigation into military mental health issues shows the ADF isn’t doing enough — and leaders should think again about sending our soldiers to war.
*Free, confidential counselling and support is available from the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service for Australian veterans, peacekeepers and their family members. VVCS can be contacted 24 hours a day on 1800 011 046. For non-military help or information visit beyondblue.org.au, call Lifeline on 131 114 or visit this page for a detailed list of support services.