Report provides further understanding of Defence and Veteran suicide


EVERY year, too many Australians are taken from us by suicide and sadly our ADF personnel and veterans are not immune.

The latest report on incidence of suicide among current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel was released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, revealing 33 deaths by suicide in 2018.

Addressing this tragedy is a national priority for the Government and while the annual figure in today's report is lower than 2017, we still have work to do to eliminate this tragic loss of life.

We can all acknowledge that there are many different factors that can affect someone's mental health, the current pandemic included, and where a person's service in the Navy, Army or Air Force is the cause of poor mental health, we are absolutely committed to ensuring they are supported.

This is why in 2017 we expanded access to free mental health treatment to include any mental health condition, regardless of whether or not the condition is linked to a veteran's service. This has uncapped funding, so where there is a need, it is met.

We have ensured veterans can access financial support where they have a compensation claim for a mental health condition being processed by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).

And we have made progress in ensuring ADF members have the support to succeed in civilian employment, and we are highlighting and celebrating the skills and experience they bring to the civilian workforce.

Most importantly we have improved the transition process from defence, making support needs-based, improving the communication between DVA and Defence, and ensuring those most at risk have the support they need, when they need it.

This transition focus is why we are establishing the Joint Transition Authority, announced in the Budget, to ensure all transition services are working together for the best possible outcome for ADF members, veterans and their families.

The recent Budget prioritised further investment into mental health, transition and employment support, providing more than $100 million to provide a one-off fee increase for psychiatrists, allied mental health, social workers and  community nursing providers; train psychiatry registrars in veteran and military mental health, provide GP-led care coordination for veterans with mental health conditions accepted as service related, and expand the Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling (Open Arms ) Community and Peer Support program.

But there is always more to do and this is where the enduring focus of the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will play an important role.

Their work will help us to understand the factors and systemic issues that may contribute to suicide risk and provide recommendations to improve prevention efforts.

This will further improve our understanding, allow us to reform the system and provide the right help to all those who need it.

Mental health and suicide prevention is everyone's business and we all have a part to play — check in on a mate, ask them if they are ok, have a conversation and help them get the support they need. Help is available so please reach out.

Open Arms provides 24/7 counselling and support to current and former ADF members and their families. They also offer face-to-face and video counselling, online or in-person group treatment programs, suicide prevention programs and crisis accommodation support.

They can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046.

Australian Government Community Health & Wellness Indigenous & Heritage Political Seniors

Australian Government, Department of Defence :
Australia Wide
1800 333 362
Australian Government, Department of Defence
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
More than $1 million to honour Australia's military history 14 January 2021 | Seventy-nine community groups and organisations from across the country will receive funding under the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program for projects that help preserve Australia's military... More information...
Staying secure when shopping online this festive season 22 December 2020 | With holiday season shopping in full swing, and the Boxing Day sales just around the corner, Australians are being urged to take care when shopping online to protect themselves from cybercriminals. More information...
Defence Minister welcomes Assistant Minister appointment 18 December 2020 | I welcome the Prime Minister's announcement today of Andrew Hastie's appointment as Assistant Minister for Defence. More information...
Applications now open for Veteran and Community Grants 17 November 2020 | "Local communities know best what will benefit veterans and their families, whether that is improvements that make community spaces safer and more accessible, equipment that will enable COVID-safe activities, or... More information...
Release of 2019 Defence Census Results 14 November 2020 | Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Census provided valuable data on the demographic profile of the Defence workforce and assisted in the development of policies and conditions that keep pace... More information...
Grants help preserve Australia's Wartime heritage 05 November 2020 | Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester said the recipients of this round of grant funding were making a vital contribution to preserving our military history and bringing the community together through... More information...
Reflecting on Indigenous military service this NAIDOC week 09 November 2020 | DURING NAIDOC Week, held from 8–15 November, we should all pause and remember the legacy and valuable contribution of Australia's First Nations' service men and women. More information...
Stay connected this Veterans' Health Week 23 October 2020 | Running from 24 October to 1 November 2020, the theme for this year's Veterans' Health Week is Social Connection, one of the most important aspects of maintaining your overall mental health and wellbeing. More information...
Updated national security science and technology priorities 13 October 2020 | Australia's national security will be strengthened following the Government's release of updated National Security Science and Technology Priorities. More information...
Look out for your mates on World Mental Health Day 2020 10 October 2020 | "Mental health is everyone's business and we all have a part to play — check in on a mate, ask them if they are ok, have a conversation and help them get the support they need," Mr Chester said. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service