PTSD fight in spotlight

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

THE strug­gles faced by vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies af­fected by Post- Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der will take cen­tre stage as part of a lo­cally writ­ten and pro­duced play.

All That We Carry will be at the Court­house Theatre on Oc­to­ber 9 and 10, to co­in­cide with Vet­er­ans Health Week.

Writ­ten by Fair­lie Sandi­lands, the play high­lights the is­sues mod­ern- era vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies face af­ter de­ploy­ment to com­bat zones.

The play fol­lows the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of Ben, who is no longer in the mil­i­tary, as he finds him­self deal­ing with PTSD.

His wife Sarah and his daugh­ter are re­act­ing to his mood swings and his dis­as­so­ci­a­tion. As the play pro­gresses, the sit­u­a­tion de­te­ri­o­rates.

Ms Sandi­lands said she had been for­tu­nate to ob­tain Re­gional Arts De­vel­op­ment Fund­ing to re­search, write and de­velop the play.

Both her par­ents were World War II vet­er­ans, her fa­ther a POW cap­tured in Ti­mor and her mother a theatre sis­ter in Pa­pua New Guinea.

“While there is so much around about World War I at the mo­ment dur­ing these years of the AN­ZAC cen­te­nary, it’s im­por­tant for the com­mu­nity to recog­nise that we have thou­sands of Aus­tralian men and women who have been de­ployed over­seas into com­bat zones or on peace­keep­ing mis­sions in the mod­ern era,” she said.

“Many serv­ing mem­bers and vet­er­ans are strug­gling with men­tal health is­sues, and their fam­i­lies and loved ones may find it dif­fi­cult to cope as well.

“As a com­mu­nity, we need to de­velop a greater un­der­stand­ing of the sac­ri­fices that these peo­ple have made and the con­se­quences that they are deal­ing with on a daily ba­sis.

“This play aims to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to give a voice to some of the strug­gles that vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies can face, and ways in which the com­mu­nity can be there for them.”

The play is be­ing sup­ported by Full Throt­tle Theatre Com­pany and The Townsville Men’s Shed, which is mak­ing the set which will be a se­ries of boxes that can be turned into var­i­ous items of fur­ni­ture dur­ing the play as the set is min­i­mal­ist.

Tick­ets will be avail­able at the door and will be $ 12 each, with no con­ces­sions avail­able.

The play is not suit­able for chil­dren as there is strong lan­guage and con­fronting themes.

Pic­ture: TROY RODGERS

FAM­ILY FO­CUS: Fair­lie Sandi­lands with her play.

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