The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has welcomed the establishment of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicides.
More Australian veterans have lost their lives by suicide than have been killed on active duty since ADF personnel were first deployed to Afghanistan in 2001.
Over the past two decades there have been numerous inquiries into veteran suicide, institutional abuse, mental health, trauma and the transition from military to civilian life.
Despite this, suicide rates amongst veterans remain shockingly and unacceptably high.
The system is broken.
A royal commission has the opportunity to map a way forward for veterans, their loved ones, and the nation.
The APS is committed ensuring the people who serve our country, who at times face extraordinary risks and mental health challenges, have access to the care and support they deserve.
Psychologists, as Australia’s largest mental health workforce, are an important part of the support framework for Veterans and Defence personnel.
Access to the right amount of timely, tailored, evidence based treatment for the range of mental health conditions which we know can result from military service, should be a right and expectation of all who serve.
We hope the Royal Commission announced this week will bring us closer to this.