Veterans the focus of Sunshine Coast-first program

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A new trauma recovery treatment program for war veterans is set to launch this month at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital.

The program will provide veterans with the knowledge and skills to manage their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

A strong focus will also be helping patients take control of their health so they can live fulfilling and meaningful lives.

It is believed around 9,000 veterans currently live on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The trauma recovery program will be managed from Cooinda Mental Health Service.

The trauma recovery program will be managed from Cooinda Mental Health Service.

Wallis Westbrook, The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital’s general manager, said there was a clear need for the program with such a high number of veterans living in the area.

“A significant number of these people are struggling, many without any help,” Mr Westbrook said.

“During combat, non-combat and peacekeeping missions around the world over many decades, a number of veterans experienced extremely trying circumstances which are continuing to affect them in the long-term.”

The UnitingCare facility is one of only a small number of organisations contracted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to deliver a trauma recovery program.

The 12-week evidence-based program will be managed from the hospital’s Cooinda Mental Health Service, which is the most comprehensive private mental health service on the Sunshine Coast.

Acting director of psychiatry, Dr Chris Martin, said the program will cover areas including trauma-related anxiety, depression, anger, addiction, and sleep disorders.

“Group and individual therapy will be utilised to learn how to effectively manage trauma-related symptoms and to foster meaningful support networks,” he said.

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