Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Australian Troops Fear of "Career Suicide" Seeking Outside Care for PTSD

ADF personnel seek PTSD treatment in secrecy to avoid 'career suicide', members say
ABC News Australia
Exclusive by Alexandra Fisher
Updated earlier today at 1:13am

"You're almost alienated from the system ... you can't go to work, you can't drive a vehicle, can't carry a weapon."
Key points:
ADF members say they speak to mental health professionals outside the Department
Talking about mental illness could jeopardise worker's career, members say
ADF says reporting mental illness ensures members are provided with proper support
Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are being treated in secret for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions to avoid jeopardising their careers, according to serving and former members.

James (not his real name) has just recently retired from a 25-year career in the Australian Army and said he never told the ADF he had PTSD.

"I'd go and speak to professionals outside of Defence," he said.

"I'd go see a psychologist and talk to them about what was wrong."

The ADF told the ABC in a statement that members were required to tell them if they were being treated outside the ADF system.

But James said if he spoke up about his mental illness, he risked his career.
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