Premier Steven Marshall has today welcomed the Federal Government’s confirmation of a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide.
Premier Marshall, who holds the Veteran Affairs’ portfolio, said he supports the Royal Commission, which is the result of an outpouring from the community.
“Over a number of years many in the veteran community have voiced the need for a Royal Commission into veteran suicide and I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today,” Mr Marshall said.
“Members of the veteran community around Australia have been advocating the need for a Royal Commission for some time and while we can’t undo the past, it is my hope that recommendations from the Royal Commission provide real and tangible ways forward for veterans and their families.
“If you or someone you know, including children and families, have been impacted by suicide I encourage you to access support.”
Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention and Community Resilience, Dan Cregan, said the Royal Commission is a crucial step forward for the veteran community nationwide.
“Every death by suicide is devastating for family, friends, colleagues and, in many cases, whole communities and we know that the veteran community have approximately half the suicide rate of the national average whilst serving, but almost double after they leave,” Mr Cregan said.
“The Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide is a significant, important and welcomed step to assist us in understanding what we need to do to reduce and prevent suicide in the veteran community.”
South Australian veteran Nathan Bolton, who was a special operations engineer deploying twice to Afghanistan as part of the Australian Special Forces and member of the Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention, said the announcement provides hope for future prevention and support.
“I acknowledge my fellow veterans whose lives have been lost to suicide, those who suffer suicidal distress and PTSD and their families, friends and colleagues that have been impacted,” Mr Bolton said.
“We can’t help everybody today, but we can pre-empt and support all our defence force personnel of the future by giving them the training and education to serve in the ADF and then reintegrating them back into society healthy, fulfilled and backed by an incredible experience.
“The Royal Commission provides hope to our men and women of the ADF, hope of a better tomorrow, by providing recommendations to prevent suicide and enhance support for those that serve our Country.
“I have no doubt the veterans of today want nothing more than to protect the veterans of tomorrow.”
Veterans SA has compiled a list of help services on their website at veteranssa.gov.au which people are encouraged to access and share with their networks should support be needed.
If you are concerned about the health or wellbeing of yourself of a loved one, seek support and information by accessing one of the following services:
* Open Arms 1800 011 046 openarms.gov.au
* Standby Support After Suicide (Supporting Country SA) – Phone 0437 752 458
* Living Beyond Suicide (Supporting Adelaide Metro) – Phone 1300 761 193
* Lifeline 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au
* Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 beyondblue.org.au
* Safe Zone Support 1800 142 072
* Mental Health Triage (Able to speak to a mental health clinician) 131465
* Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 kidshelpline.com.au
* Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467