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Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

One in 20 Australians currently live with a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This module explores the work of organisations such as RSL Queensland, Mates4Mates and the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF) in helping former Defence personnel who are living with PTSD or anxiety.

PTSD doctor looking at notes


Define and understand

Mental illness is a significant public health issue both in Australia and internationally. In 2018, the Australian Government Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that about 45% of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a mental illness in their life, with anxiety disorders being the most prevalent.

The nature of mental illness is complex and multidimensional. Extensive research shows mental illness affects not only mortality, but also people’s social and emotional wellbeing. It may influence a person’s ability to contribute on a personal, social and economic basis, and to feel connected within their community.

On your own or as a group, document the different types of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may wish to consult some of the following resources for your research or find your own.

Use the mind map in the activity template (or draw your own) to identify the different types of anxiety disorders, and then discuss them with your group.

Download Student Activity Template file_download

Consider how anxiety may affect a person at an individual, relationship, community and societal level (refer to the graphic in the activity template). Provide examples of how anxiety may influence these levels using the table in the template, thinking about which barriers and enablers at each level may have an impact.


Plan and act

In the video, Georgia Ash, Manager of Psychological Services at Mates4Mates, describes generalised anxiety disorder and PTS. Use the video and the Mates4Mates website to identify some activities available to to manage anxiety and PTS.

Building on the table you completed earlier, summarise the risk and protective factors that impact anxiety at each level of influence. Discuss your answers in a group.

Determine an action strategy to address either generalised anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress by completing the Diffusion of Innovations model in the template.


Share your action strategy with your class and see if you can identify any barriers to its adoption. You might like to use the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance) table provided in the Learning Guide template to measure your strategy’s effectiveness.

Once you have completed the above activity, use the RE-AIM table to record any recommendations for improvement, a plan for implementation, and identify whether your strategy is sustainable.

Present your improved strategy to a group of classmates.

Download Learning Guide file_download

For teachers and parents

Teachers' notes for Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress

More for years 11 - 12