ADF: Remove Admiral Robyn Walker - her dismissive views on PTSD are dangerous

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Ongoing anxiety, fear, distrust, social withdrawal and depression. This is my struggle with PTSD since returning from the Iraq war.

Access to mental health care in the ADF is looked down upon, causing many serving and ex-serving soldiers to silently suffer in fear of ending their careers.

The backward view of Surgeon General Admiral Robyn Walker toward military related mental illness perpetuates this silence. Admiral Walker is publicly dismissive about PTSD in the ADF and veteran suicides. Not only is this a dangerous message for PTSD sufferers to receive, but it is illinformed.

The experience of combat fighting can haunt soldiers for many years after returning from service. In the last 6 months I have filed 169 PTSD suicides, the majority occurring post 2006.

We desperately need senior staff in the ADF to acknowledge the prevalence of PTSD and combat-related suicides. Admiral Walker’s selective ignorance is detrimental to the welfare of ADF men and women.

We have lost all confidence in her and her senior appointment makes us feel isolated in our continued PTSD struggle. I am calling on Admiral Walker to publicly apologise for her history of offensive comments and for the ADF to remove her from this ‘supposed’ position of care.

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