Decorated Afghan war veteran Bill Blaikie and his wife Nancy speak to Kathryn Ryan about getting better support for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in this country. Lieutenant Colonel Bill Blaikie was Deputy Director of Intelligence for Combined Force Command in Afghanistan in 2004. But when he came back from this last tour of duty he couldn't leave the war behind him. He was suffering from PTSD. Nancy Blaikie said he was no longer the man she married. Bill had a 25-year army career in both Australia and New Zealand, and had to travel back to Australia to get the group therapy he felt he needed, having found a lack of this kind of support for his PTSD at home. Bill and Nancy Blaikie have written a book called Back from the Brink - PTSD: the Human Cost of Military Service.
If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, you can get more information on the Mental Health Foundation's website - www.mentalhealth.org.nz - or by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116.
Here are some support options:
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354 - available 24/7
- Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) - available 24/7
- Youthline: 0800 376 633
- Samaritans: 0800 726 666 - available 24/7
- Kidsline: 0800 543 754 - available 24/7
- Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 - 1pm to 10pm weekdays, 3pm to 10pm weekends
- Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 - available 24/7