The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide has made it abundantly clear that more needs to be done to support the mental health and wellbeing of Defence personnel, veterans and families.
We’re taking action.
Today I hosted a round-table meeting with mental health experts to hear their professional perspectives on the practical steps we need to take to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the broad Defence and veteran community.
This forum was the first of a number of consultation opportunities that will not only engage with the Defence and veteran community, families, researchers, peak associations, service providers and ex-service organisations to contribute to the direction of the new joint Defence and Veteran Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2024-2029 (the Strategy).
The Strategy will encourage positive mental health and wellbeing across the Defence and veteran community. It aims to improve prevention, early intervention and care initiatives for veterans and families from the day someone signs up for the ADF, to long after they’ve hung up their uniform for the last time.
Undertaking comprehensive consultation is fundamental to the Strategy development process, and it is important we hear directly from those this Strategy will support.
Feedback from stakeholders and the views of those with lived experience will shape the direction, focus and priorities of the Strategy and supporting action plans.
This Strategy will support the work of the newly established Mental Health and Wellbeing Branch to further strengthen, consolidate and optimise our efforts in mental health and wellbeing across Defence.
Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will be undertaking various consultations with the broad Defence and veteran community to inform the development of the strategy.
An online survey is also open until 28 August 2023 for DVA clients, families and support services.
For more information on the Strategy development process, visit the DVA Web page.