Veteran Mental Health Initiative

The PTSD Initiative

The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation in partnership with RSL Queensland conducted innovative medical research into the physical and psychological toll of PTSD on Vietnam veterans. The PTSD Initiative: Vietnam Veteran Study has been published in the prestigious Medical Journal of Australia and formed the basis of a national GP Education Program for healthcare professionals.

Hard copies are available for some of these resources so please get in touch if you would like to order any quantities.

Research videos

Full-length version, length 4:49 

Social media version,
length: 1:44 

Bite-sized videos outlining research findings

These bite-sized are extracts from the full-length video seen above.

1. Prevalence of PTSD,  length: .21

2. Key findings, length: .22

3. Tests completed by participants, length: .18

Clinical videos

Director of Research, Professor Darrell Crawford for the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute (GMRI), explains the importance of research into the physical toll of PTSD. Length: 5:47

Questions asked in the video:

  • Introduction 0:00
  • What physical symptoms are associated with PTSD? 1:07
  • What chronic illnesses are linked to PTSD? 2:07
  • How do you communicate to a patient that their symptoms may be associated with PTSD? 3:13
  • How can GPs effectively identify and manage patients with PTSD? 4:05
  • What role can GPs play in supporting people with PTSD? 5:00


Psychiatric Advisor to GMRF, Dr Andrew Khoo explains key points for the diagnosis of PTSD and what pharmacological support is available in general practice.  Length: 12:01

Questions asked in the video:

  • Introduction 0:00
  • What is the prevalence of PTSD in the general population and in veterans? 0.37
  • Are there different “kinds” of PTSD? 2:00
  • What are the recent developments in the diagnosis of PTSD? 3:05
  • How can we identify a patient who may have PTSD? 5:39
  • What treatment modalities are most effective for PTSD patients? 7:36
  • What can GPs do to support their patients with PTSD? 9.48

Videos for GPs and healthcare professionals

GP advisor to GMRF, Dr Phillip Parker GP and veteran, discusses ways to work with patients who may have PTSD, inlcuding techniques for dealing with hesitant patients, the stigma of PTSD, particularly in the veteran community and the role of the sufferer’s family. Length: 1.56


Dr Parker talks about the ways GPs can support patients with PTSD, and provides practical tips for treatment options. Length: 2.24


Dr Parker discusses issues for veterans with PTSD and their GPs. Length: 1.26


Dr Parker talks about specific item numbers and assessment tools he uses when treating a veteran with PTSD. Length: .53

Personal account videos

Tony’s story

Tony Dell, a participant in the PTSD Initiative, shares his experience dealing with PTSD.

Richard’s story

Richard, a participant in the PTSD Initiative shares his experience dealing with PTSD.

Karen’s story

Karen shares her experiences of supporting her husband Richard, a Vietnam veteran diagnosed with PTSD.

Kerri-Ann’s story

Kerri-Ann shares her experience supporting her husband who served in Afghanistan.


  1. McLeay, Sarah C., et al. “Physical comorbidities of post-traumatic stress disorder in Australian Vietnam War veterans.” Med J Aust 206.6 (2017): 251-257
  2. Peer-to-peer booklet, Managing the Physical and Psychological Symptoms of PTSD, 16-page A5 booklet, for people experiencing PTSD symptoms, June 2017
  3. A guide to Post traumatic stress disorder and your general health, 8-page magazine, general audience, June 2017
  4. About the PTSD Initiative, 4-page A5 brochure, general audience, Mar 2017

RSL News magazine articles

  1. Backing the Right Horse, Edition 6 2018, 4-pages
  2. Researching the Healing Power of Compassion, Edition 4 2018, 3-pages
  3. Forging a New Path for Your Treatment Options, Edition 3 2018, 4-pages
  4. Could adventure be part of your journey to recovery, Edition 2 2018, 4-pages
  5. The GP and Me, Edition 1 2018, 4-pages
  6. ‘Tis the Season to be Jolly in Moderation, December 2017, 4-pages
  7. Facing the Physical Symptoms of PTSD including IBS, October 2017, 2-pages
  8. Your Guide to Good Health, the Importance of a Regular Visit to Your GP, August 2017, 4-pages
  9. Sleep your Way to Better Health, April 2017, 4-pages
  10. PTSD Education Program for GPs Launched, April 2017, 4-pages
  11. A Matter of the Mind for Your Heart Health, February 2017, 4-pages
  12. Spare a Thought for your liver this Festive Season, December 2016, 4-pages
  13. The Journey Home and the VMHI Reintegration Study, December 2016, 4-pages

Links/resources for healthcare professionals and clinicians

  1. Learning module: ThinkGP ‘A wound of mind and body’, 1 hour, earn CPD points
  2. Treatment Algorithm for PTSD, developed by GMRF, Sep 2017
  3. DVA form D9213 – Application for Health Care for Certain Mental Health Conditions form
  4. eMHPrac Resource Guide e-Mental Health in Practice
  5. DSM-5 Guidelines
  6. Manual for the Administration and Scoring of the PTSD Symptom Scale (PSS-I)
  7. PTSD Checklist (PCL)
  8. Post Traumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS)
  9. DVA Trauma Recovery Programs
  10. Mental Health Professionals Network
    Support for mental health practitioners through local networks and online professional development program
  11. Mental Health Online
    Access to e-Therapy programs
  12. Report: Mental Health in the Australian Defence Force: 2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study
  13. Learning module: RACGP GP Learning Module: ‘Working with veterans with mental health problems’ – 1 hour, earn CPD points
    (RACGP reference 79745)

    Links/resources for individuals

  14. RSL Queensland
    T: 134 775 (business hours)
    ESO Directory or contact your local RSL Queensland veteran services officer.
  15. Open Arms (Formerly Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service)
    Free and confidential nation-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions 24hours/7 days a week
    T: 1800 011 046
  16. Mates4Mates
    T: 1300 4 62837
  17. DVA ‘At Ease’
    PTSD information and self-help tools
  18. Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
    Self-help resources and information on treatment options
  19. Beyond Blue
    PTSD information
  20. Black Dog Institute
    PTSD information
  21. Lifeline
    Counselling services for anyone at any time
    T: 13 11 14
  22. Parentline
    Confidential telephone counselling support for parents and carers of
    T: 1300 301 300
  23. Mental Health Online
    Information and resources on various mental health conditions. Clinical treatment programs (self-help and therapist-assisted) available
  24. High Res
    Online tools and training for building resilience
  25. PTSD Coach Australia
    Helps an individual manage the symptoms of PTSD
  26. Breathe2Relax
    Stress management tool that provides instructions on practice exercises to manage stress
  27. ON TRACK with The Right Mix
    Helps manage alcohol consumption by tracking the number and type of drinks consumed and the amount of money spent
  28. eheadspace 
    Online and telephone service for young people and their families going through a tough time
    T: 1800 650 890
  29. Suicide Call Back Service
    Nationwide suicide providing 24/7 telephone, video and online professional counselling to people who are affected by suicide
    T: 1300 659 467