Australia – Chief of Army launches Dents in the Soul in Townville


The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, today officially released the new Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) DVD “Dents in the Soul” at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.
Joined by soldiers and their families, Lieutenant General Gillespie spoke candidly of Army’s experience with PTSD.
“Early recognition and intervention in PTSD is our goal – seek help and seek it early. I am personally committed to the health, wellbeing and welfare of all our soldiers and their families.

“My Commanders and I take very seriously our responsibility to ensure our soldiers are prepared physically and mentally for the rigors of training and service on operations,” General Gillespie said.

“Army is moving forward in its approach to PTSD. Army is listening, and it is important to recognise that this is promoting a cultural shift in our attitudes to PTSD.

“Much of this has come from a decade of active deployment, where we care for and mend our soldiers with physical injury, we are actively working towards doing the same for those with mental injuries. We are committed to improving mental health literacy and resilience, and the retention and treatment of our soldiers is paramount. “‘Dents in the Soul’ will play an important role in bringing PTSD into the spotlight. Army’s values of courage, initiative and teamwork are built on the very real tenet of ‘looking after your mates’. We do this in training, in barracks, on operations. We need to also do this with PTSD,” General Gillespie said.

John Schumann, former lead singer of Redgum, played an integral role in the DVD production, lending his iconic song “I was only 19”, as well as narrating the DVD. “If I have played just a small part in encouraging soldiers to recognise PTSD and put their hands up for help, then it will be one of the best things I have ever done with my song,” Mr Schumann said.

Soldiers and their families attending the launch were treated to a concert performance from John Schumann and the Vagabond Crew.

“Dents in the Soul” is available online at www.defence.gov.au (via the quicklinks).
Media Contact: Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, Australia

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