September 24, 2022

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An innovative new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will soon be available for defence force veterans following Australia-first research.

The treatment will explore a new form of intensive exposure therapy, and has showed to be as effective as standard treatment.

The new treatment follows the release the interim royal commission report into veteran suicide. (Nine)

The report called for immediate action, including eliminating the backlog of compensation claims and simplifying and harmonising veteran compensation.

Assistant Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite said veterans experienced PTSD at higher rates than the general population.

“PTSD is a huge issue for veteran community in Australia,” he told reporters today.

“These trial findings indicate that a new form of therapy is getting outcomes that are just as good as the longer form.

“We are committed to offering veterans experiencing PTSD the best range of treatments possible.”

The Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery (RESTORE) trial investigated a new method of delivering treatment for PTSD in an intensive two week period.

Assistant Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite said the new treatment was “significant”. (Nine)

It found that it was equally effective as standard therapy which runs over 10 weeks, with veterans taking part being less likely to drop out.

“This treatment offers veterans a shorter method of therapy that may better fit their lifestyle,” Thistlethwaite said.

The research was developed in partnership between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Defence and the Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health.

The treatment for PTSD will be offered through the veteran and families counselling service Open Arms.

The final royal commission report will be handed down in June 2024.

Crisis support is available from Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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