Last Friday, seventy people gathered at the Film School cinema to watch a preliminary private screening of Griffith HDR Student Kym Melzer’s documentary series The Ripple Effect of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The screening formed a critical part of the documentary-making process, being the first occasion at which participants viewed all short films together in a public forum.
The documentary series focuses on the impact of PTSD on partners, families and friends - their presence at this emotional event meant it was essential that the screening was by invitation only. Others present included representatives from the Army, Military Police, RAAF, RSL, the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation and a number of veterans’ counselling and support services.
The Ripple Effect of PTSD film series will be disseminated through the Defence Organisation network, RSL Queensland branch network and PTSD support groups. Feedback from participant audience members was very positive:
Liz Jackman thanked Kym for including her and her husband, veteran Scott Jackman in the film:
“The screening this morning was poignant and heartfelt…it was comforting in an odd way to see that myself and my family are not alone.”
Naomi Enchong attended the event with her husband veteran John Enchong. She said:
“Hopefully when these stories are publicly released they will help people have a little bit more understanding of what families and friends go through, and maybe help create more tolerance of mental health issues.”
Kym Melzer plans to complete a second group of films focusing on the families of Australian First Responders such as Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance personnel. She expects to complete her PhD in 2018.