A Royal Commission into Defense and Veteran Suicide will continue in Sydney, with the inquiry expected to hear evidence of the importance of supporting families affected by the suicides of serving and former soldiers. the ADF
The so-called ‘postvention’ will be under the spotlight Thursday at public hearings in Sydney to get answers from bureaucrats and experts on how to reduce risk factors that can contribute to high levels of suicide among veterans within the Defense Force community.
A lived experience witness and managing director of Disaster Relief Australia, Geoff Evans, is also due to appear on Thursday.
A two-week block of hearings in Sydney have so far heard from senior members of the ADF who have admitted more needs to be done to support those transitioning from the military to civilian life.
There were tales of intimidation, mistreatment of women, lack of support for veterans and recruits forced into hazing rituals.
He also heard of a “crushing” compensation claims process that may be a contributing factor to the mental health issues experienced by veterans.
In February, Department of Veterans Affairs officials were asked about a growing backlog of compensation claims, and gay ADF veterans gave harrowing testimony about unfair treatment in the Defense Force because of their sexuality .
The royal commission began in 2021 to examine the longstanding problem of veteran suicide rates which are 24% higher for former serving men and double for former serving women, compared to the general population.
Australian Associated Press