Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Final report to the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 02 December 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Final report to the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/independent-review-past-defence-veterans-suicides
Final report to the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 29 September 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/independent-review-past-defence-veterans-suicides
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Final report to the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 Dec. 2]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/independent-review-past-defence-veterans-suicides
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Final report to the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides, viewed 2 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/independent-review-past-defence-veterans-suicides
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This Final Report analyses the health and wellbeing of serving, ex‑serving and reserve ADF members who have died by suicide and had at least one day of service since 1 January 2001. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has undertaken a comprehensive analysis to identify risk and protective factors related to suicide among ADF members. The quantitative analysis of ADF suicides makes comparisons with the ADF population and general Australian population, where possible. The study explores physical and mental health in connection with military service, separation from the ADF, and transition to civilian life. This analysis utilises existing and new datasets to further provide a comprehensive understanding of risks and protective factors relating to suicide.
The objectives of the analysis are to:
On 5 February 2020, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a National Commissioner to inquire into and support the prevention of deaths by suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.
As a first priority, the interim National Commissioner is undertaking an Independent Review of Past ADF and Veteran Suicides (the Review). The key objectives of the Review are to build on existing research and undertake new analysis by integrating relevant data sources, and to identify and describe common themes, trends and systemic factors that may contribute to suicide by ADF members.
This Final Report presents the AIHW’s analysis of ADF members with at least one day of service from 1 January 2001 who have died by suicide from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2018. The quantitative analysis informs the key objectives of the Terms of the Reference1 for the Review. Comparisons are made with all ADF members, and Australians who died by suicide.
This report focusses on current or former ADF members who has served at least one day of ADF service during 2001 and 2018. There are 216,640 persons covered, of whom 118,584 were ex‑serving, 55,438 were serving, and 42,618 were members of the reserve.2
The AIHW thanks and acknowledges the large contribution by staff from a range of organisations in providing datasets and advice. These organisations are
The AIHW also thanks and acknowledges contributions of internal staff from the AIHW; Data Integration Service Centre who conducted the data-linkage, Ethics Privacy and Legal Unit who facilitated the ethics approval process and Specialist Capability Unit who provided statistical guidance in the methods used for the analysis.
The AIHW thanks those who provided review; Professor Libby Roughead, Associate Professor Ben Edwards and staff from the AIHW Data Custodian Units. In addition, the AIHW thanks and acknowledges the support from the Office of the National Commissioner and formerly the Attorney General’s Department as well as the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
Finally, the AIHW also thanks Mindframe for providing invaluable training in the appropriate and sensitive way to report on suicide.
Some readers may find parts of this content confronting or distressing.
Caution: Some readers may find parts of this content confronting or distressing.
Please carefully consider your needs when reading the following information about suicide. This report contains information on numbers and rates of death, method of suicide and risk factors (including suicide ideation and self-harm). This report may be distressing to some readers.
If this material raises concerns for you, support is available. Please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Defence All-hours Support Line on 1800 628 036, or Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling, available free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or see other ways you can seek help.
The information included here places an emphasis on data, and as such, can appear to depersonalise the pain and loss behind the statistics. The AIHW acknowledges the individuals, families and communities affected by ADF member and veteran suicide each year in Australia.
The AIHW supports the use of the Mindframe guidelines on responsible, accurate and safe suicide and self-harm reporting. Please consider these guidelines when reporting on statistics on the monitoring of suicide and self-harm.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
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