Stand Tall for PTS was founded in 2010 by Tony Dell, a Vietnam Veteran who spent 40 years of his life with PTSD without being diagnosed. This totally volunteer not for profit was originally founded to help the other thousands of Vietnam Veterans who had no idea why their lives had turned sour after they came home.
Within a few years the target market had grown to include serving military, Veterans of other conflicts and our First Responders.
And now, at the beginning of 2020, Stand Tall is arguably Australia’s foremost promoter of PTS awareness, champion of total collaboration with other ESOs, researchers and mental health professionals and promoter of more action by governments.
Stand Tall along with other ESOs and interested parties is planning to promote 2020 as a watershed year for the improvement of treatment for PTS, the reduction of the stigma associated with all mental illness and the reduction of mental health associated suicides.
Tony Dell spent a year in Vietnam as a national serviceman, with 2RAR in 1967 /68. Unknowingly he contracted PTS during his deployment and experienced a few amazing highs and many debilitating lows over the next 40 years as a result.
These included two cricket test matches with Ian Chappell as his captain in the 1970s and a number of years of incredible success in the advertising industry in the 1980s.
But by 1990 he lost everything as a result of supporting a friend but dodgy client, Prime Minister Paul Keating’s decision to deregulate the advertising industry and his recession we had to have when interest rates reached 22%.
The next 18 years were a blurry struggle where he finally lost his whole family as well and was living in his mother’s garage in Caloundra with zero assets.
He was saved by an association with Defence Cricket which led to his diagnosis which then led to the founding of Stand Tall for PTS in 2010.
“Through the fortune I have working with any number of wonderful people with incredible life experience, I am constantly struck by the randomness of life. Through our individual journeys, every now and then we cross paths with singularly memorable individuals who can’t help but leave indelible marks on us. Tony Dell is one of those. His energy, passion, vision and sheer bloody mindedness have allowed him to achieve milestones and reach in the area of post-trauma mental health well beyond what anybody thought possible at the time. You can be satisfied that you have individually impacted this area of medicine moving forward. Certainly Tony, I’m sure some of your fondest memories of me are after a meeting where you have smiled and winked at me and I have just been shaking my head at what you’ve just brokered."
Dr Andrew Khoo
Director Of Medical Services | Toowong Private Hospital
humanity is paramount in assisting those affected by PTS
trust and honesty are at the heart of the PTS message
a culture of sharing assures the needs of those with PTS are met
transparency and accountability will retain belief in our actions to reduce the effect of PTS
The Stand Tall vision is to ensure that this generation and future generations of Australians comprehend the dynamic and social impacts created by PTS. Stand Tall will react to the fundamental needs of people experiencing PTS and Mental Trauma, as well as the needs of their families, friends, workmates and the broader Australian population. Guiding our actions are the following:
People – be an organisation that attracts and inspires great people to help those affected by PTS
Awareness – we must educate all Australians about the current and future effects of PTS and reverse the stigma of the illness
Partnerships – develop a highly collaborative network which collectively enhances the lives of those affected by PTS
Actions – help to develop and deliver a range of quality services, activities, events and outcomes to assist those affected by PTS and Mental Trauma. Stand Tall believes that we should all try to be proactive and not reactive.
To empower those people affected by PTS and Mental Trauma through awareness, knowledge and action