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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