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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 929 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 November 2021 by Hon Dr Brian Walker

Minister responding: Hon P. Papalia
Parliament: 41 Session: 1

Answered on

PSYCHEDELIC SUBSTANCES — PTSD TREATMENT

929. Hon Dr BRIAN WALKER to the minister representing the Minister for Veterans Issues:

As we prepare to commemorate Remembrance Day, I refer the minister to Department of Defence figures that suggest that as many as 8.3 per cent of Australian Defence Force members will have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder in the last 12 months, as compared with 5.2 per cent of the Australian community as a whole.

(1) Is the minister aware of recent peer-reviewed studies, not least by Erwin Krediet and colleagues, published in the International Journal of Neuropsychology in June 2020, which demonstrate that psychedelic substances can have an important and substantial moderating effect when it comes to the treatment of PTSD?

(2) Can the minister confirm that he is actively working alongside and in conjunction with his colleagues in both Health and Mental Health to pursue positive outcomes for both serving and ex-serving members of the ADF here in Western Australia who suffer from PTSD?

(3) Would the minister be willing to join me in advocating for at least a limited trial of psychedelics here in WA as a PTSD treatment, so as to allow the medical community to move forward with this potentially groundbreaking treatment, in a measured and scientific manner, to the betterment of our veteran community?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. The Minister for Veterans Issues has provided the following answer.

(1)–(3) The Australian government, through the Department of Veterans' Affairs, is responsible for mental health support, including medical treatment, for both serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members. The McGowan government is focused on delivering services to assist current and former Defence Force members to find meaningful employment and participate fully in the Western Australian community. These initiatives are aimed at preventing serious mental health issues requiring medical intervention.