ADF members and veterans need help every four hours

One veteran or serving member of the Australian Defence Force has suicide-related contact with police or paramedics every four hours.

That's according to new research conducted for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide by the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research.

The study revealed current and former members had a 24 per cent higher chance of suicide-related contact than the rest of the population.

Soldiers at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane
The suicide rate in the veteran community remains a national tragedy.

Researchers used data from Queensland and extrapolated the results to get an idea of the situation across Australia.

They found veterans who had contact with emergency services for self harm were more likely to die early from any cause, compared to civilians.

Permanent ADF members were also more likely to make contact compared to veterans and reservists.

The researchers described the findings as "conservative" for several reasons, including because it did not cover those who made contact several times.

Royal Commission Chair Nick Kaldas says the research challenges long-held views on the issue.

The Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide will hand down its findings in September.

"For some time, there was a reluctance to accept that issues of suicide and suicidality were impacting current serving members," he said.

"This research demonstrates there is a clear link between service in the ADF and suicide and suicidality, which was accepted for the first time by military chiefs at our recent Sydney hearing.”

Before the royal commission there were some 57 inquiries into suicide in the military and veteran community, however rates have not yet decreased.

"We are determined to be the inquiry that brings about real change,” he said.

The commission is due to hand down its findings in September.

It comes as the Victorian Government revealed it will recruit an additional 300 veterans to the public service by June 2025.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Open Arms 1800 011 046

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store