LNP promises PTSD centre for Sunshine Coast

Australians with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will get greater access to support and treatment, with the Morrison Government investing $8.3 million for a national centre dedicated to PTSD research, education, and clinical services.

Located at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute in Birtinya, the centre will take an integrated approach to research and treatment, with a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of veterans.

The promised investment comes a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called an election For May 21, 2022.

The announcement will be made on the Sunshine Coast today with Federal Member for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Wallace, and the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman,

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the funding will enable research and clinical services to be expedited, with services available in early 2023.

“Approximately one in 10 Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a number of groups at significantly higher risk, including veterans and emergency service personnel,” Minister Hunt said.

“The national centre will provide much needed additional support, services and treatments to Australians with PTSD and their families.”

The centre aims to conduct research into the causes, impacts and treatments of PTSD in collaboration with national and international partners.

It will also develop pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions; establish a national PTSD brain bank to support research into brain chemistry and structure; and provide clinical services for PTSD sufferers, supporting fast translation of research into clinical practice.

The Federal Government’s investment will supplement $6 million in philanthropic funding from Roy and Nola Thompson and in-kind funding from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The Morrison Government is also investing a further $3.8 million for the Thompson Institute to continue to undertake innovative, evidence-based youth mental health and suicide prevention research and services.

“Research into PTSD and translating that into treatment and services, will enable to us to find new and better approaches to treating and supporting Australians with PTSD,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.

Mr Fisher said: “The USC Thompson Institute undertakes vital work in mental health and suicide prevention research and treatment, and I have long fought for funding to back their efforts.”