The family of Steven Fazel want better support for veterans suffering PTSD and for their carers and loved ones.
The family of Steven Fazel want better support for veterans suffering PTSD and for their carers and loved ones.

Veteran’s death prompts call for better support

VETERAN Steven Fazel was farewelled by family and friends at his funeral on Friday.

The 49-year-old flew helicopters in the army and served in East Timor and Afghanistan before he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and medically discharged.

Mr Fazel tragically died in December.

Marco Parigi, who had known Mr Fazel since their school days, said his mate had "gone to a better place where the pain that haunted him can't hurt him anymore".

Mr Fazel's funeral was held at Ryan Community Centre. His family asked those close to him to donate to the Black Dog Institution in lieu of flowers.

Mr Parigi called for better mental health services for ex-defence personnel and said professionals needed more training in PTSD.

As the support for a royal commission in to veteran suicides grows, Mr Parigi told ABC North Queensland money would be better spent on more research.

"I think a Royal Commission is likely to have a lot of money spent on the wrong things," he said.

"The best path to help people with military PTSD is to involve close family in particular ways that research will show that it helps.

"It's about how a psychiatrist can approach the issue, how they can involve close family members."

The mother of Bradley Carr, Glenda Weston, of Charters Towers, however argued a royal commission was long overdue.

Mr Carr, the former Private took his own life on April 25 last year.

He received treatment for mental health in Cairns, Townsville and on the Gold Coast.

Ms Weston said ex-defence members transitioning into civilian life needed more support to make a successful integration.

"They just give them their discharge papers and let them go," she told the Townsville Bulletin last year.

"They need to understand PTSD a lot better than what they do and fully realise the deadly impact it can have on a life."

Ms Weston was one of five mothers who demanded a royal commission into veteran's suicide after their sons took their own life.

>> If you need support contact Open Arms Veterans and Family Counselling Service on 1800 011 046 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.