PTSD event bonds Noosa community

Ken Kipping, Geoff Bone, Richard Marsh, Kevin Rabeling and Bob Birkhead.

By Abbey Cannan

A free family fun day raising awareness and providing help for those living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be held in Noosa on Saturday 20 November.

Independent marquees with representatives from an array of Noosa’s dedicated health service providers will be available to help you create your own pathway to mental fitness.

The event will feature PTSD Dogs, chair yoga, Tai Chi, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, interviews, entertainment by the SandFlys and a free sausage sizzle.

This initiative is a joint project of Noosa’s five Rotary Clubs; Noosa Heads, Noosa Daybreak, Noosa, Cooroy and Eumundi.

Sunshine Coast Acting Inspector Ben Carroll said the Queensland Police and Queensland Ambulance Services were regularly called on to assist members of the community suffering from mental health issues, often induced by post-traumatic stress.  

“The illness also impacts families through depression, addictions and associated violence,“ Inspector Carroll said.

“Our emergency services personnel are not immune from this illness either and its effects upon some of our members can be significant.  

“I commend our local Rotary Clubs for this initiative which encourages discussion around mental health in our community.“

PTSD Dogs chief executive officer Angie Weeks said the pack at PTSD Dogs Australia was delighted to be invited to be part of this important initiative that will shine a light on PTSD. 

“It is important that our community understands just how many of our veterans and first responders are suffering from PTSD, and that we acknowledge and talk about it, and do all that we can to assist them in their hour of need,“ she said.

“Our organisation supports both veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD, by providing them with life-changing assistance dogs. 

“We have over 170 people on our wait list, so that just shows the extraordinary demand out there for help. 

“We are very much looking forward to this event, so we can share the work that we are doing with the community. We commend Rotary for bringing this event about.“

Rotary Club Noosa Heads member Bob Birkhead said attendees could chat with up to 16 service providers for their own plan for PTSD support.

“The great part has been watching the way the five Rotary clubs have all collaborated on this event together,“ Mr Birkhead said.

Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien said as a former police officer he knew too well how PTSD could affect a person’s life.

“Over my 16 years as a police officer I saw things and did things that imprinted into my mind and I ultimately ended up being diagnosed with PTSD,“ Mr O’Brien said.

“It’s something I’ve lived with for some years and a thing that I’ll live with for many years to come.

“When somebody has a mental health condition and they either can’t work or can’t interact socially as they normally would… we should look at it in the same way we would look at any other medical disorder in our lives.

“There’s no reason why a person living with a mental health or physical health condition can’t fulfil their own dreams.”

If anyone you know has been affected by PTSD, visit Noosaville Lions Park on Saturday 20 November from 11am to 3pm.

The initiative is being supported by Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart, Noosa MP Sandy Bolton, Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien, State Emergency Service (SES), Qld Police Service, Qld Ambulance Service, and Red Cross Emergency Service Team.

Check out video clips of providers who are attending for Yoga, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy and Tai Chi, on the Noosa Rotary Combined Better Together Facebook page.