- James Geercke was 18 years old when he joined the Australian Defence Force Academy.
- He was medically discharged two years later after suffering a serious spinal injury.
- He told the royal commission into veteran suicides he wasn’t offered any mental health support after leaving the army.
He said by 2013, the department’s failure to provide him with any mental health support had forced him to seek his own therapist.
“They explained to us that that happens because when they put us through this intense training it can have similar effects on the brain as taking psychedelic substances such as LSD,” Mr Geercke added.
Mr Geercke said by the time he injured his spine when training in 2010 he had become so “delusional” he had pushed through the pain for another four days before collapsing, with permanent damage.
Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Soldier On Australia on 1300 620 380.