On 19 April 2021, after significant pressure from veteran lobby groups and the many relatives of those affected, Scott Morrison announced the establishment of a much-needed Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
It will examine the systemic issues, common themes and past deaths by suicide of ADF members and veterans, and the experience of current members and veterans who may continue to be at risk.
It will take into account all aspects of service in the Australian Defence Force and the experience of those transitioning from active service, the availability and quality of health and support services, all pre-service and post-service issues for members and veterans, defence force members’ and veterans’ social and family contexts, as well as housing and employment issues.
Not before time.
We couldn’t support this move by the Government more, simply because the current service suicide statistics make for eye-peeling reading:
1: Ex-serving men aged 18–29 have a higher suicide rate compared with Australian men of the same age.
2: Ex-serving men of all ages who were medically discharged, or discharged in ranks other than commissioned officer, were at higher risk of suicide than their peers.
3: Between 2001 and 2017, there were 419 suicides among current serving, reserve and ex-male ADF personnel.
4: Between 2001 and 2017, there were 21 suicides among current serving, reserve and ex-female ADF personnel.
The continuing and growing concern within the ADF and the wider Australian community about suicide in current and ex-serving personnel has troubled the Helping Hand Team for a long, long time.
You can help us help them by continuing to support our charity through your generous donations.
Please join us in showing support for those who have served.