Convoy delivers message about PTSD
FORMER Test cricketer Tony Dell was planning a catch-up with old mates after arriving at Tweed Heads yesterday as part of the Lightning Bolt Convoy.
The convoy rolled out of Brisbane yesterday morning bound for Melbourne in a bid to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The first port of call on the 11-day whistle-stop tour of the east coast was Twin Towns where interested onlookers checked out the vehicles on display.
After a busy first day on the road Mr Dell, who played two Tests for Australia in the 1970s, was preparing to catch up with former teammates Greg Chappell and Greg Ritchie but before swapping stories about their cricketing glory days, his attentions were firmly fixed on the convoy.
Mr Dell, who founded Stand Tall 4 PTS after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2008, said the convoy was an opportunity to raise awareness for what he labelled “the most misunderstood illness in Australia”.
“It’s about time we gave this issue the attention it deserves,” he said.
“More than 5% of Australians live with PTSD and it can have a profound impact on them and their family.
“But people don’t know enough about it, they don’t know how to cure it.”
The convoy includes a number of army vehicles which will be supported on the individual legs of the journey by a variety of police, ambulance and firefighting vehicles.
A Vietnam veteran, Mr Dell said it was important to highlight that PTSD does not impact only those in the military.
“A common misunderstanding is that PTSD only affects veterans but in fact many Australians who live with PTSD are police officers, fire fighters, ambulance officers and hospital staff,” he said.
“PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced trauma, both young and old.”
The convoy was due to depart Tweed Heads at about 9.30am today bound for Coffs Harbour.
For more information about PTSD and the Lightning Bolt Convoy, visit thelightningbolt.org.au.