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Suicide awareness for the ex-service community

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Mary’s Story: Living with a husband with undiagnosed PTSD

This is a fictional case study

Scene Description:

An older woman, in her 60s sitting and telling her story


My name’s Mary and my husband’s a Vietnam veteran.

We’d only been married three years when he came home, had a little boy, two, Tim. We had two more children very quickly, Jane and Pat. It was very difficult with three small children. What made it even more difficult was that Bill was often angry and remote. I tried to shield the children from his temper as much as possible, but it wasn’t easy.

We didn’t know much then about PTSD and I was in so much pain myself that I didn’t know how to help him.

I tried to cope, but it became increasingly difficult.

I agreed to see a counsellor about my depression and I agreed to the help and support of my family and friends. I was able to tell Bill about my problems and feelings and he agreed to go to VVCS.

We are learning to cope with his PTSD and I have learnt that my mental health is just as important.  We are enjoying life together.

Need assistance?

For immediate assistance when life may be in danger Call 000

For national 24/7 help lines and crisis support counselling:

  • VVCS
    (Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service)
    1800 011 046
  • ADF All Hours Support Line
    1800 628 036
  • Lifeline Australia
    13 11 14
  • Mens Line
    1300 78 99 78
  • National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line
    1800 737 732
  • Kids Help Line (for 5-25yrs)
    1800 55 1800
  • Suicide Call Back Service
    1300 659 467
  • Salvation Army Crisis Line
    1300 36 36 22

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Jayden’s Story: When Dad died

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Mathew: My son Daniel

I saw my son Daniel change after Afghanistan and I didn’t know how to help until it was almost too late.

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Emma’s Story: Feeling like a failure

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