World-first Aust'n trial to test quick treatment of PTSD

Updated 2017-02-03 15:17:15 Xinhua

A world-first Australian trial announced on Friday will provide hope of fast treatment for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The trial, to be undertaken at the Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, will include current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel with PTSD.

The trial will assess if delivering PTSD treatment over an intensive, two week period could provide equal or better mental health outcomes than current treatments which take three months.

David Forbes, Director of Phoenix Australia, said this would be the first trial of intensive prolonged exposure treatment.

"PTSD is the most prevalent mental health disorder among Defence personnel and within the broader community, more than one million Australians a year have PTSD," Forbes told reporters on Friday.

"Even the best treatments available are not a solution for everyone. We need to develop and test new and innovative approaches to help those not benefiting from current approaches.

"The outcomes of this trial will help not just the military and veteran community but also other Australians with PTSD as we improve PTSD treatments."

The trial, announced by Australia's Minister for Veteran Affairs and Defence Personnel Dan Tehan on Friday, will intake 200 current and former ADF members in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Chris May, an ADF veteran, was diagnosed with PTSD after his second tour of Afghanistan.

"PTSD and associated anxiety and depression effects every person differently and is indiscriminate as to the time, setting and the way in which it will affect you," May said on Friday.

As many as one million Australians are suffering with PTSD.

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