AT any one point there are 1.5 million people suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS) and the Lighting Bolt II Invictus Convoy rolled into the Bathurst 1000 to help raise awareness.
The convoy featuring Australian Army vehicles and personnel as well as emergency service vehicles and personnel is midway through a tour across the country.
It will pass through four states and territories on its 17-stop tour before winding up in Sydney the day before the Invictus Games commences.
The convoy arrived in Bathurst just in time to take part in the Saturday Street Fair and there were three Australian Army protective mobility vehicles on show as well as a fire truck and ambulance.
Convoy spokeswoman Sally Hodder said people were surprised at just how many people suffer from PTS.
“We’re here to help raise awareness and educate the community about PTS and to let them know it’s more prevalent than they think,” she said.
Ms Hodder said it was incorrect think that only military personnel acquire PTS.
“It’s also first responders like police, fire, ambos,” she said.
“If you think about it, every day they go to horrible accidents.
You’ll get the flashbacks of the critical incident and night sweats and uncontrollable anger that you don’t know where it comes from.Lighting Bolt II Invictus Convoy spokeswoman Sally Hodder
“They have to tell people that their mother, daughter, brother has been killed.”
Ms Hodder said victims of crime can also suffer from PTS and the symptoms can be life-altering for some people.
“You’ll get the flashbacks of the critical incident and night sweats and uncontrollable anger that you don’t know where it comes from,” she said.
“They also have the tendency of not wanting to go out in public.
“It can impact your whole life.”
Ms Hodder has encouraged people suffering from PTS to start talking about it, and for others in the community to support those who come forward.