New national centre to support Australians with PTSD

Australians with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will get greater access to support and treatment, with the Morrison Government investing $8.3 million for a national centre dedicated to PTSD research, education, and clinical services.

Located at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute in Birtinya, the centre will take an integrated approach to research and treatment, with a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of veterans.

The centre aims to:

  • Deliver breakthrough research into the causes, impacts and treatments of PTSD, in collaboration with national and international partners.
  • Develop pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions.
  • Establish a national PTSD brain bank to support research into brain chemistry and structure.
  • Provide clinical services for PTSD sufferers, supporting fast translation of research into clinical practice.
  • Deliver education for better understanding, care and support of PTSD patients and families.

The Federal Government’s investment will supplement $6 million in philanthropic funding from Roy and Nola Thompson and in-kind funding from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The Morrison Government is also investing a further $3.8 million for the Thompson Institute to continue to undertake innovative, evidence-based youth mental health and suicide prevention research and services.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the funding will enable research and clinical services to be expedited, with services available in early 2023.

“Approximately one in ten Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a number of groups at significantly higher risk, including veterans and emergency service personnel,” Minister Hunt said.

“The national centre will provide much needed additional support, services and treatments to Australians with PTSD and their families.”

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the national centre builds on the Morrison Government’s $3 billion Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan announced in 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets.  

“Research into PTSD and translating that into treatment and services, will enable to us to find new and better approaches to treating and supporting Australians with PTSD,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.

Federal Member for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Wallace, said the centre, facilitated by the world-class research, training and support facility at USC Thompson Institute, will be a gamechanger for PTSD research and support.

“The USC Thompson Institute undertakes vital work in mental health and suicide prevention research and treatment, and I have long fought for funding to back their efforts. 

“This $8.3 million funding package for a national PTSD centre will provide much-needed research and support to our veteran and first responder community, to whom we owe so much. Fisher is home to one of the country’s largest veteran populations, and I can’t think of a better place to deliver this vital project.”

This announcement builds on the $7.5 million secured from the Federal Government for the Thompson Institute in 2017.

The Morrison Government continues to make mental health a national priority, investing a record $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2021-22, in the health portfolio alone. This will increase to an estimated $6.8 billion in 2022-23 – a more than 100 per cent increase since 2012-13 when Labor was last in Government.