The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide Interim Report released today shines a light on the issues that veterans currently face and the voice of lived experience has been central.
Suicide Prevention Australia, CEO, Nieves Murray said, “We welcome the interim report recommendations on the key issue of veteran claims backlog. We know that veterans, and those who support them, experience lengthy claim waiting periods. This delay not only leaves veterans without the financial support they need, but it also causes heightened stress due to uncertainty that can cause or exacerbate damage to their mental health and wellbeing.
“Rates of death by suicide are significantly higher for ex-serving men and women than for the general population. There is a clear need for change in this area.
“These findings reinforce the urgent need for a National Suicide Prevention Act that would ensure that every government department, whether it’s veterans, housing, education, social security or health, looks at their policies and priorities through a suicide prevention lens. This is a critical step in protecting our community at a time when it’s needed most.
“We await future recommendations from the Royal Commission, especially relating to moral injury, social connections for veterans, improvements to help-seeking in the ADF, and the strengthening of veteran support and the broader support system to better assist their transition to civilian life.
“We urge the Australian Government to respond promptly to the recommendations, reducing unnecessary stress and hardship.
“The time to act is now as the veteran community is an especially vulnerable group,” said Ms Murray.
Read our Defence and Veteran policy position.
Read the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide Interim Report