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Submission to Royal Commission into Veterans Suicide

Submission to Royal Commission into Veterans Suicide

By

Australian Special Air Service Association (Inc.)

National Executive

ABN: 58 437 621 685


Introduction

The Australian Special Air Service Association ( herewith makes a submission to the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide. Internal consultation and research withing the SAS veteran community sugges ts that our suicide rate is between 2 5 to 3 times the national ave rage number of deaths per 100, 000. It is a figure which warrants swift and considered action including better monitoring of SASR veterans after transition, further study of the trends and factors in suicide risk and

practical intervention measures post transition, all of which are a focus of our submission.


It must be borne in mind that most veterans are resilient in the face of enormous stress, that they are not suicidal and have managed t hemselves through whatever difficulties they have faced. The vast majority leave the Service with wholesome and loving family relationships and sound employment prospects and go on to lead exemplary and successful lives. Consequently, it must be borne in mind that only a small minority succumb to suicide because of their military service.


We acknowledge that the reasons people take their own lives are complex and varied, however, we believe that the pressures and stresses involved with military service cont ribute to the veteran suicide rate. These may include PSTD, moral Injury because of that service, and the difficulties faced in reentering civilian life. While suicide can’t be prevented if a person is intent on committing suicide no amount of help will dissuade them from doing so but we believe that with the right level of support and recognition of veterans’ unique service and associated issues the ris k can be reduced.


A central thrust of our submission is that success will require that government ad equately fund DVA so that the array of services available are sustained and so that veterans’ individual claims are dealt with promptly Mental health and suicide risk can be impacted adversely if the veteran experiences delay, bureaucra tic process, and a feeling o f not being believed as they work through the claims.



PO Box 6137, SWANBOURNE, Western Australia, 6010

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