Australia has an enormous task in aiding the mental health of returned soldiers as troops withdraw from Afghanistan, the veterans affairs minister says.
Australia's base in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, will close at the end of the year with 1000 troops set to return home.
Veterans Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson said returned soldiers must be supported and not abandoned as many were after Vietnam, as he launched the new Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH)on Tuesday.
The centre, newly located at the University of Melbourne, will assist in mental health research for veterans and their families.
"As the troops return I am determined that we will not let those young men and women down," Senator Ronaldson said.
"It stresses me that men serving this nation are suffering the ramifications of this service."
He said returned soldiers were hesitant to seek help as they feared it would impact on their careers or that they would receive judgment from their colleagues and family.
He said early intervention was the best way of addressing the mental health of veterans.
More than 3200 returned soldiers since 1999 have mental health concerns or post traumatic stress disorder, Senator Ronaldson said.
A new website was launched at the event that will provide information for returned soldiers, their families and doctors.