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Army September 13, 2012
on mental health
with the Army Psychology section in
Darwin but got disillusioned with it
and cut it away," he said. "I guess you
could call it my false start."
He then sought assistance though
Veterans and Veterans' Families
Counselling Service before returning
to the Army to seek a managed reha-
By this time it was early 2010,
when Capt Judd started receiving the
help that got him where he is today.
Realising he needed help, his com-
manders assisted by giving him the
time he needed for his rehabilitation.
Capt Judd said those suffering
PTSD needed to treat it like any other
injury, seeking treatment and support
to get past it and get on with their
"I'm now effectively in remission
after finishing my treatment early this
year," he said.
"Treatment is still available if I
need it but I'm going through a period
of consolidating my recovery, ensur-
ing I'm good to go before returning to
fully deployable status."
When asked about the stigma
attached to mental health injuries, Capt
Judd said it wasn't so much about peo-
ple thinking negatively of you, but how
to rise above those stigma issues and
come to terms with the condition.
"I am a professional infantry officer
and performed my role to a high stand-
ard while deployed," he said.
"I suffered a mental health injury,
rehabilitated and am now almost 100
per cent recovered.
"You need to set a goal, especially
those suffering in silence, so they can
get help, support and get through it."
TIME TO ACT
"I WAS initially apprehensive about effectively outing
myself to other people as someone who has suffered
a mental health injury when I found out I was invited to
the 2012 forum," Capt Ash Judd said.
"But I thought it was important to take ownership of
the change I wanted.
"The Army genuinely cares at the leadership level
about providing the best care possible to get people
back to work or effectively transition and who better
to help with this process that those like me who have
experienced it first-hand."
Capt Judd said the forum had been an excellent
opportunity for members and their spouses to directly
engage with the senior leadership.
"I'd definitely recommend it for members towards
the end of their treatment or at a stage where they can
pass on their experiences with the system," he said.
"Take every opportunity you can to advise the chain
of command or be a mentor to those who are strug-
"It will help those who come after us to not make
the mistakes we have and learn from our experience."
Asked about a message he would send to others
suffering from similar injuries, Capt Judd said sup-
port was available and the prognosis for recovery was
"It doesn't have to be something that marks you for-
ever, but you need to find the courage to take the steps
to seek it out," he said.
"I urge those out there who have suffered from this
to strongly consider coming forward and help provide
support for those who are struggling because there is
a high level of undiagnosed cases out there suffering
All Hours Support Line 1800 628 036 (or from over-
seas +61 2 9425 3878)
Veterans and Veterans' Families Counselling Service
(VVCS) 1800 011 046
Local medical centre
Chain of command
Recovering: Capt Ash Judd, pictured here as a lieutenant leading troops in Afghanistan,
describes himself as "in remission" from post traumatic stress disorder, after seeking help
through the Army health system.
Photo by Capt Lachlan Simond
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