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Ministers’ Show of Indifference Over PTSD is Insulting

Ron Mark MP

New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Spokesperson for Defence
2 NOVEMBER 2016

Ministers’ Show of Indifference Over PTSD is Insulting

A significant percentage of veterans who served in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan could be suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and neither the government, nor the Defence Force have a realistic understanding of the scale of the problem, says New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Defence Spokesperson Ron Mark.

“New Zealand First is hosting the launch of an important book on PTSD this evening written by a Kiwi veteran and police officer, Dion Jensen.

“However, Ministers have declined to attend, including Ministers of Defence, Veterans Affairs, and Health. This has been taken as an insult by those veterans watching the issue unfold.

“We know many veterans are suffering and do not seek help for fear of being stigmatised and because they have no confidence in the system.

“They do not receive adequate counselling and are left to fend for themselves. Historically this has shown to lead to alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide.

“To abandon our service personnel who were subjected to extreme trauma in the service of our nation and then leave them isolated and at the mercy of under-funded and inadequate mental health and ACC systems is unacceptable.

“Things must change and it can start with both the government and Defence Force waking up to the magnitude of the problem. They could at least attend this book launch to learn of a possible tool that will make a difference to the lives and families of our suffering veterans,” Mr Mark says.

Editor’s note: The book will be launched in the Beehive Theatrette this evening (Wednesday, November 2), 6pm-7.30pm.

ENDS


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