Mefloquine Drug Controversy - TV CH 10 The Project 18th October 2016

Share on Social Media

You can view the TV Program here in the time slot 13.46 minutes - 18.53 minutes.


Related Articles:



ADSO encourages the Government to:

a. Formally recognise that many ADF personnel who took Mefloquine and Tafenoquine may have suffered physical and mental harm;

b. Defence and DVA in co-operation have a comprehensive “outreach program” to pro-actively follow up all currently serving and former ADF members who participants in the 2001-2002 trials so that they and their current medical practitioners are made aware of recent research that links those anti-malarial medications with possible long term neurological disorders.

c. Defence Human Research Ethics Committee closely monitors the conduct of clinical trials that it has approved in which coercion of participants in any form could occur.

d. In the event of any subsequently diagnosed or potential adverse outcomes to participants in future medical trials that Defence acknowledge its responsibility to monitor all participants.

e. Set up a joint Task Force that would engage personnel from ADF, DVA and other necessary agencies to provide urgent assistance those in need; and

f. Set up and fund an independent inquiry into the ADF’s use and administration of Mefloquine and related anti-malarial drugs and the consequent long-term effects of exposure to these on both the physical and mental health of ADF members and veterans.

Defence Media - Defence mental health support and suicide prevention

Share on Social Media

14 August 2016 | On the Record

Any death by suicide is tragic. Defence is committed to increasing our understanding of this issue so that we can continue to improve the support services available to our people.

Most importantly, we need to help those who are suffering to understand that support is available to them – they do not need to suffer alone.

Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in Australia, and ADF personnel are not immune from this. The rate of suicide of those serving in the ADF is lower than the national average when matched for age and gender. Of course we must do more.

For this reason Defence is investing significantly in suicide prevention and mental health more broadly, with more than $180 million in funding allocated to a range of education and support programs for all Defence members since 2009.

As a result of this investment, and by working with DVA, significant enhancements have been made to the provision of mental health care for current and ex-serving personnel over the last few years. The extension of non-liability health care arrangements which cover current and ex-serving members for a range of mental health conditions without the need to establish a link to their service is one example of this progress.

Current programs which address various mental health issues and provide support to ADF members throughout their military careers, including when they have returned to civilian life, include:

ADF mental health and psychology services

establishment of regional mental health teams
implementation of the mental health integration project to ensure consistency and best practice
creation of the ADF Centre for Mental Health to provide clinical advice and specialist training
establishment of the Second Opinion Clinic to help treat members with complex mental health issues

Prevention initiatives

publication of the ADF Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
establishment of the ADF Suicide Prevention Program to ensure a comprehensive approach across the organisation
establishment of the Keep Your Mates Safe peer support program
introduction of BattleSMART (a self management and resilience training program)
introduction of ADF operational-specific mental health screening
implementation of the Mental Health Screening Continuum Project to expand current screening framework

Awareness and education programs

dissemination of ADF mental health fact sheets
creation of the annual ADF Mental Health Day
establishment of ADF mental health awareness presentations and mandatory training for all members
creation of mental health first aid courses for members
establishment of the Army Industry Partnership Initiative
introduction of workshops to assist commanders to provide support to members
creation of the ADF alcohol, tobacco and other drugs awareness program
creation of web-based ADF Health and Wellbeing Portal which is available publicly
establishment of the Chief of Army Wounded Injured and Ill Digger Forum
development of mental health mobile applications
publication of the ADF Rehabilitation Member and Family Guide
publication of the ADF Health and Recovery Commanders’ Guide

Crisis support and recovery programs

establishment and promotion of mental health and crisis support help lines
establishment of the intervention Critical Incident Mental Health Support (CIMHS) process
establishment of RESET (a coach facilitated, skills based early intervention program)
creation of the Support to Wounded Injured or Ill Program
establishment of the Soldier Recovery Centres
creation of the Army Rehabilitation through Employment Initiative
establishment of the ADF Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills Program
establishment of the ADF Rehabilitation Program.

We need to recognise that mental health problems affect our entire society, and yet for each individual the circumstances of their situation are unique and deeply personal. What might help one person may not be successful for another; that is why there are a range of support services available.

The factors that lead a person to die by suicide are complex, which is why we need a mature discussion encompassing the entire community. Together we can continue to break down the stigma that, even today, our society attaches to mental health issues so that everybody feels they are able to access the support that is available.

More information on the services available, including how to access support, is available here

The Defence All-hours Support Line (ASL) is a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1800 628 036.

Crisis support and confidential counselling is also available by calling the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) on 1800 011 046.

Media Contact
Defence Media (02 6127 1999

Veterans with PTSD likely Heart Attack Victims

Share on Social Media

Vets with PTSD likely heart attack victims - Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation Report

Australian veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to suffer from sleeping problems, heart disease and gastrointestinal issues than those without the condition.
THE findings of the world's most comprehensive study into the medical and psychological health of Vietnam veterans were released on Friday at a PTSD forum in Brisbane.
"It confirms our suspicions that there are clusters of physical symptoms associated with PTSD," said Professor Darrell Crawford, of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation.
The findings stem from a three-year study conducted by the foundation at a cost of $1.75 million provided by RSL Queensland.

The physical and psychological health of 300 Vietnam vets were evaluated.

"When we compare participants with PTSD to those without, we find a greater risk of nightmares and sleep apnoea, as well as bigger tendency for problems like irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, heart disease and respiratory problems," Prof Crawford said.

The RSL has committed another $5 million for the next phase, which will be a much broader study involving veterans who served after Vietnam.

For Tony Dell, a participant in the Vietnam vets study, it was not until 2008 that he found out he had PTSD.
"I am hoping the results will show why it stuffed up my life for 40 years," Mr Dell said.
"I lost my family, I lost my friends, I got fired from jobs ... I became antisocial, I couldn't sleep and originally I had nightmares."
But his 2008 diagnosis has enabled him to be treated and become aware of his condition.
"Now I know how to manage it and I have got a new lease of life," he said.
"I disenfranchised my kids, especially during the '90s, but they are now my three best friends."


* Four times more likely to have had a heart attack
* Twice as prone to stomach ulcers
* More than three times more likely to have acted out their dreams while asleep
* More likely to have constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome
* At greater risk of daytime fatigue and sleepiness.

Read more of the Report here


Suicide Prevention App Supports Veterans Anywhere, Anytime

Share on Social Media

XT4  The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, released a free mobile phone app to help serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deal with suicidal thoughts.

"Operation Life is an important initiative that has been developed in consultation with specialist veteran mental health specialists. This is specifically targeted towards assisting those with the unique challenges and circumstances that military service can present," Senator Ronaldson said.

"Today is R U OK? Day and also World Suicide Prevention Day. I would encourage all current and former ADF members to talk to your mates about this app, particularly those who may be experiencing difficulties.

"The app has been designed to support professional treatment, and we recommend users work with a clinician to set the app up the first time and learn when and how to use it to stay safe between clinical sessions."

The Operation Life app provides:

• easy access to emergency and professional support services and a Personal Support Network of trusted people to call when help is needed
• a grounding exercise to help users regain control of suicidal thoughts so that they can access support, once they are thinking clearly
• the ability to look through photos, listen to chosen music and record and review positive reminder messages about worthwhile life experiences and aspirations for the future – reminders of why life is worth living
• advice on staying safe and when to seek help.

This app is the Government's latest initiative in a suite of suicide awareness and prevention resources, which includes the Operation Life Online website and face-to-face ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) workshops delivered nationally through the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).

"Any suicide is tragic. Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men aged between 35 and 44 and women between 25 and 34 years old, and serving and ex-serving personnel are not immune from this. It is vital anyone who experiences intense feelings of despair and hopelessness, or feels like they have lost control, seeks professional help," Senator Ronaldson said.

"The Government is working hard to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy that includes training to assist at-risk individuals, programmes to build resilience, self-help and educational materials, a 24-hour veteran support line and access to clinical services."

The Operation Life app is available free via the iOS App Store and Android Google Play. More information is available on the Operation Life Online website

A free Clinicians Guide to the app is available to download at

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line 
can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546).

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
Department of Veterans' Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

The battles our troops face after coming home

Share on Social Media

The Australian Newspaper's Paul Cleary reports on this matter - 22 July 2015

A Senate committee inquiry into the mental health of ADF personnel who have returned from deployment also is putting a large spotlight on these issues.

More than 50 submissions have been made, including many from current or former service personnel and their partners. Some of them provide harrowing accounts of the effects of war on individuals and their families, and they also reveal shortcomings in the way Defence and the Department of Veterans Affairs have responded to these people in desperate need. ..........

The Defence Department's submission to the inquiry has tried to ease concerns about the significance of the problem. It cited evidence from a 2010 study that found the incidence of PTSD at any given time among staff who have never deployed was 8.8 per cent, compared with 8 per cent for those who had deployed. It also cited a Middle East Area of Operations health study that indicated the number of deployments and their length was "not a useful marker of risk for PTSD".

These findings are sharply at odds with the University of Melbourne study led by Philip Cooke that found sharply higher rates of mental illness when comparing Vietnam veterans and personnel who had served in peacetime.


Support and Legals