New research centre puts focus on post traumatic stress disorder

A new national research centre dedicated to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was officially opened today on the Sunshine Coast.

The Hon Emma McBride MP
Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Assistant Minister Rural and Regional Health

Media event date:
Date published:
Media type:
Media release
General public

A new national research centre dedicated to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was officially opened today on the Sunshine Coast.

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s National PTSD Research Centre at the Thompson Institute is Australia’s first centre integrating research, education and clinical interventions for PTSD, including suicide prevention.

A key priority for the centre will be to inform future supports for all Australians who experience PTSD, including veterans. 

The Albanese Government has provided $8.3 million towards the establishment of the centre. 

It aims to deliver breakthrough research into the causes, impacts and treatments of PTSD, in collaboration with national and international partners.

Research findings will be supported through rapid translation into clinical applications, including new medications and therapies. The centre will also establish a national PTSD brain bank to support research into brain chemistry and structure.

At the same time, the centre will provide expert clinical services to support the mental health and wellbeing of those living with PTSD, rapidly translating research findings into clinical practice.

It will also deliver education about PTSD nationwide, to promote better understanding of, and care and support for people living with PTSD and their families.

Estimates suggest three out of four Australian adults have experienced a traumatic event at some point in their life.

While most people do not go on to develop a mental illness, the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2020–2022 estimated that more than one in 10 Australians do experience PTSD. The rate was much higher among women (14 per cent) than men (8 per cent).

The integrated model used by the PTSD centre is used throughout the Thompson Institute, a world-class hub for mental health research, education, clinical services and advocacy for patients and their carers. 

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister, Emma McBride:

“Post traumatic stress disorder can have a long-lasting and severe impact on individuals and their families.

“Our Government is committed to giving people experiencing PTSD access to the best treatments possible, and that means supporting world-class research."

Quotes attributable to University of the Sunshine Coast Chancellor Sir Angus Houston:

“During my military career, I have witnessed first-hand the devastating impacts of PTSD on personnel and first responders, and that the condition was more pervasive than many realised.”

“People who have lived through other traumatic experiences such as domestic violence, crime, abuse or disasters may also suffer from PTSD.”

“PTSD can be completely debilitating for those living with it. Many sufferers experience terrible flashbacks, nightmares and emotions long after the traumatic event, disrupting their lives enormously.

“The burden extends far beyond the destructive personal impact on individuals. It also has a significant economic impact through lost productivity and increased demand for healthcare.”

Quotes attributable to University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett:

“Our university is very focused on meeting community needs and finding solutions to some of the society’s most pressing issues.

“Mental ill health is a major health concern for Australians, with almost half of the population either directly or indirectly experiencing the impact of mental illness. It is therefore important that we support our communities by finding the best solutions and ensuring equitable access to treatment.

"By conducting world-class research under the same roof as clinical services, education and advocacy for patients and their carers, the University of the Sunshine Coast is able to quickly translate research breakthroughs into practice for PTSD, as well as in the fields of youth mental health, ageing and dementia, and suicide prevention.”

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.