Media Statement: Veteran Suicide – Time for Reflection

29 Sep 2021

The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) welcomes the release of the fourth
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Report on suicide among
members of the ADF and Veteran communities. It is timely.

Kel Ryan download 2019 05 09T190332.604

In speaking on behalf of DFWA, its National President, Mr Kel Ryan, said that the report is a salutary reminder that we all must tread warily when the issue of veteran suicide is discussed.

He went on to observe that:
‘Earlier reports included data from 1 January 2001. This current report expands on this earlier work and validates historical data sources on the veteran community going back to 1 January 1985. This has enabled a more complete data base and now includes all veterans with one day or more service. The population under consideration has been doubled’.

DFWA welcomes this addition to the study of veteran suicide.

Release of the AIHW Report as the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide
commences its work is opportune and must prompt us all to respect the process that is
now under way. It is not a time for a media or social media deluge of attention on
veteran suicides or the process that has brought us to the present time. It is a time to
respect the families of those who have taken their own lives.

Ms Gwen Cherne the Veteran Family Advocate Commissioner has so elegantly stated
that this AIHW Report is but one layer of layer on layer of data that will allow us all
to move forward in addressing the scourge of veteran suicide.

DFWA commends the AIHW for this Report.

National President Kel Ryan (0418) 759 120
Executive Director Alf Jaugietis (0438) 282 282

DFWA – Voice of the Defence Community