The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) believes that it is important to address the issue and work towards best possible care and help for Veterans.
The concerning rates of mental health issues and suicide amongst veterans must be addressed, not only immediately, but appropriately.
Many service members (current and previous), their families and carers face significant barriers to obtaining the support and mental health services that they need.
Barriers to accessing mental health support can significantly impact the transition from active duty to civilian life, but can also be the result of stigma, exposure to trauma and fragmented service delivery.
We strongly support the need for mental health support to be seamless, ensuring continuous access to services throughout enlistment, training, deployment, discharge and ongoing civilian life.
It should come from a place of knowledge and expertise in the area of mental health and suicide and should be available to families and carers, as well as members or past members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The RANZCP fully supports the National Commissioner for Defence and Veterans Suicide Prevention (National Commissioner) and its Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides which aims to identify and understand the factors that have contributed to past suicides and inform more tailored and effective action.
Should the Government choose to establish a Royal Commission into suicide deaths by ADF personnel and veterans, the RANZCP would welcome the opportunity to provide expertise regarding the framework of the inquiry to ensure matters not currently addressed under the National Commissioners Terms of Reference are investigated.
For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 437 315 911, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.