The risks and prevalence of mental health issues like PTS amongst service men and women have received growing attention over the last few years. Yet, with so many experiencing distress there is still so much to be done.
Tony Dell was a national serviceman in the 60’s and was deployed to Vietnam. He later played Sheffield Shield cricket for Queensland and test cricket for Australia. After what Tony describes as many years of undiagnosed symptoms, forty years after he got home from Vietnam, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress. As he learnt about PTS, Tony recognised the role it had played over the years in his relationships and his work. He realised that there were many others experiencing the same ongoing effects who had developed this illness in the service of their country. Tony decided to set up a charity to offer support. And so, Stand Tall 4 PTS was born. Tony’s goal is to create national awareness for Post Traumatic Stress to help to both reduce the stigma and to agitate governments to pay attention to this vital issue.
Tony says that “the stigma that still surrounds PTS only makes the problems worse. PTS is bad enough. It affects people being able to work, their families, their ability to live. But the stigma stops people getting help.” Stand Tall sees their role as one of education and awareness raising. They want people to be willing to acknowledge PTS in themselves and others and to be willing to seek and accept support.
Stand Tall hosts annual Post Traumatic Stress conferences and ongoing community events to raise awareness and connect with those in need. This year they are looking forward to being involved in the Invictus Games in Sydney in October.
“Our vision is that one day, every Australian will have a clear understanding of and respect for those who are affected by PTS.
We see an Australia where PTS has the full support of Governments for research and treatment.”
Stall Tall 4 PTS vision is to;
- Make every person in Australia aware of PTS,
- Dispel misconceptions about PTS and break down stigma,
- Help increase professional support channels,
- Lobby governments to properly recognise Post Traumatic Stress and to supply adequate funds for meaningful research.
For more information about Stand Tall 4 PTS: http://standtall4pts.org/
By Tasha Broomhall