OUTSPOKEN: Pauline Hanson addressed a crowd of predominantly One Nation supporters at a rally in the Rockhampton in September. Ms Hanson will be hosting a PTSD Forum at Emu Park on Friday night.
OUTSPOKEN: Pauline Hanson addressed a crowd of predominantly One Nation supporters at a rally in the Rockhampton in September. Ms Hanson will be hosting a PTSD Forum at Emu Park on Friday night. Amber Hooker

Red hot issue attracts red-haired politician's attention

PAULINE Hanson will be the first to admit she knows only the very basics about PTSD and that is why she is holding a forum on it in Emu Park on Friday.

A spokesman for the One Nation Senator and party leader said she was approached by Afghanistan veteran Dylan Fraser about PTSD issues at her Rockhampton public forum in September.

He said Ms Hanson and her colleagues, Senator Malcolm Roberts and Senator Brian Burston, will be listening to PTSD experts and people with PTSD at the forum about all the issues involving accessing services and medical treatment.

The forum will be held at the Pine Beach Hotel, starting at 7pm, and will be open to the public.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics - National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2015, 6.4% of Australians aged 16-85 years who are under a sub mental health category of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (14.4%, 2.3 million) met the PTSD criteria in 2015.

Mr Fraser is expected to speak at the forum, along with psychologist Dr Ken O'Brien who has worked on research projects with the Australian Defence Force about PTSD in veterans.

The panel will also be speaking with an expert from South Africa via Skype on how medical marijuana can be effectively used to treat PTSD.

The entire event will be live streamed on Senator Hanson's Facebook page, Please Explain, to make sure this important discussion is brought to as wide an audience as possible.

The panel will also be taking questions about this issue from the audience and from those watching the livestream on Facebook.

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"Unless we get to sufferers early on, they typically isolate themselves, further reducing their functionality and compounding the symptoms of the disorder, such as anger and irritability, Internationally respected clinical psychologist, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Professor Zachary Steel said. "This affects not only the sufferer but also those who support them.”

See editorial on page 18.



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