This is AIHW’s fifth annual report on suicide among permanent, reserve, and ex-serving ADF members (‘member’ is used throughout to refer to both serving and ex-serving). This report includes members with at least one day of ADF service from 1 January 1985 to 31 December 2020, with the suicides monitored over the period 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2020. This monitoring period is expanded and includes more years than in the previous report (1 January 2001 to 31 December 2019). The expanded monitoring period was included following investigations of ADF member deaths data through the years 1997-2000, and was updated to include 2020 as the most recent year of data available.
The general patterns, including rates of suicide and comparisons with the Australian population, remain similar to previous AIHW reports. However, as the suicide monitoring period used in this report has expanded there is an increase in the number of suicides.
Further information on the veteran population scope and expanded monitoring period can be found in the Technical notes.