National PTSD Research Centre | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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National PTSD Research Centre

Hope for trauma survivors

The National PTSD Research Centre at UniSC’s Thompson Institute pursues solutions for the 1.4 million Australians living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the many more people living with the impacts of psychological trauma.

The research centre is the first of its kind in Australia, bringing together advanced neuroscience and psychotherapies, to unveil crucial insights into how PTSD and traumatic stress are linked to brain structure and function.

Solving a crucial need 

Three-quarters of Australians have experienced at least one traumatic event, such as a threat to life or violence. Early treatment of traumatic stress is vital in preventing potential chronic mental health disorders including anxiety and PTSD.  

PTSD is difficult to define, with the list of potential symptoms creating 600,000 ways to meet the criteria for diagnosis. This makes it challenging to identify effective treatments for individuals.

For 70 percent of people with PTSD, conventional treatments and therapies are not effective beyond six months. TGA-approved medicines tend to treat comorbidities of PTSD, such as anxiety and depression, but not the root cause of the disorder.

We need better solutions. We're committed to creating a better future for people and families living with the impacts of PTSD.


PTSD Building


Our research recognises that to effectively prevent, diagnose and treat PTSD, we need breakthroughs in the neurobiology that underpins the disorder, its causes, and other impacts of traumatic stress.  

Clinical trials

We investigate promising new treatments for PTSD.

Molecular biology

We link the brain and body, and pursue biomarkers that can aid prevention, diagnosis and treatment

Reconsolidation therapy

Reconsolidation therapy is an exciting emerging treatment for PTSD and other psychological impacts of trauma. Developed by Thompson Institute director, Professor Alain Brunet, the therapy is shown to work in 70 percent cases with virtually no relapse. To advance this treatment’s significant potential to improve lives, we will investigate the neurobiology behind its effectiveness in blocking the brain’s reconsolidation of traumatic memories.

Community support

As we research enduring solutions for the future, we simultaneously deliver evidence-based support for communities today. We put the latest science into practice.  

EMERGE disaster recovery program

Developing a program that will support people affected by natural disasters to manage mental health impacts

Women in group, smiling
ENGAGE community resilience program

Working with Noosa, Gympie and Fraser Coast communities affected by flood events

Portrait of smiling young women sitting on beach
Myndset youth program

Supporting young people with mental health concerns, including those impacted by early life trauma

Jean Martha Degollacion
The Alliance for Suicide Prevention - Sunshine Coast

Creating a suicide-safer community, recognising the links between trauma and suicide risk

Our facilities

In the news

National PTSD Research Centre launches in Queensland

UniSC has launched a $18.5 million national hub addressing PTSD, one of Australia’s most pressing mental health issues.  

Global PTSD and neuroscience expert to lead Thompson Institute

A clinical psychologist rated as one of the world’s top experts in trauma and stress-related disorders has been appointed to lead the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute and its new National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Centre.

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Support our pursuit of solutions for the 1.4 million Australians living with PTSD.