Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) serving and ex-serving ADF members who have served since 1985: Suicide monitoring 2001 to 2019
29 September 2021
This week sees the release of three Government reports on Defence and Veteran suicide:
The death by suicide of any Australian is a tragedy – for their family, their friends, their colleagues, their local community and for the nation.
Suicide, suicide attempts and self-harm behaviours are serious, complex and confronting issues that impact all Australians, including current and former members of the ADF.
There is no simple or single solution to suicide.
Defence is committed to ensuring all ADF members have access to the right support, at the right time, especially for those who are vulnerable or at risk.
There is a broad range of mental health support services available to ADF members who may be experiencing concerns with their mental health or thoughts of suicide.
Any ADF member who may be struggling with their mental health is encouraged to reach out for support. You will be supported.
Defence is committed to continuous improvement. While our health system provides high quality care, we recognise there are always opportunities to improve.
The establishment of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, are critical opportunities for the Defence community to come together to learn and strengthen our approaches to preventing suicide among current and former members of the ADF.
Defence spent $65.75 million to provide education and awareness programs, and access to mental health treatment and rehabilitation programs for serving ADF members in 2020/21.
Media note: ADF members requiring support now can reach out to:
- Defence All-hours Support Line (ASL) – 1800 628 036: a confidential telephone service for ADF members and their families 24/7.
- Defence Member and Family Helpline – 1800 624 608: staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists 24/7.
- A network of dedicated mental health professionals at health centres located at major Defence bases that can provide or facilitate support both on-base or off-base.
- Away from base, or for out-of-hours assistance - 1800 IMSICK (1800 467 425) to locate the nearest support 24/7.
- ADF Chaplaincy Services - 1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362): provides a 24/7 in person on-call service that is regionally based. Call and ask to speak to the on-call Chaplain in your area.
- Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling – 1800 011 046: provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former serving ADF members and their families 24/7.
- The Defence Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – 1300 687 327; This free, confidential and professional counselling service is available to ADF Reservists, ADF Cadets, Officers and Instructors of ADF Cadets and their immediate families, and their supervisors/managers.
Additionally, support is available to ADF members through their chain of command.
More information can be found on the Mental Health Portal at: https://www1.defence.gov.au/adf-members-families/health-well-being/services-support-fighting-fit/need-help-now