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Announcement and aim

The Review of services available to veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in relation to prevention of self-harm and suicide (The Review) was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 11 August 2016.

It involved an independent analysis which was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission within the scope of its terms of reference.

The Commission has considerable expertise and experience in reviewing Australia’s mental health system. In conducting the Review, the Commission built upon its earlier work on Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities, the report of the national review of mental health programs and services.

The Review examined self-harm and suicide prevention services available to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families, to assess their accessibility and effectiveness.

Self-harm and suicide prevention is seen as an intensely complex area that needs concerted and continued attention across all aspects of the mental health and social services systems. While comprehensive strategies have been implemented, it is felt important that efforts are continually updated and improved.

The Review provided further information and advice to the Federal Government to help focus future activity.

Reporting and timing

The Commission provided its Final Report and recommendations on the Review to the Australian Government on 28 March 2017.

The Commission's Final Report can be found here.

The  Commission's Final Report and recommendations have now been considered by the Australian Government and the Government's response to the Review was released on 30 June 2017.

The Government's response can be found here.

The Commission thanks contributors

The Commission is very grateful to all who contributed to the Review.

We thank the current and former members of the ADF and their family and friends, as well as service providers, all of whom provided their valuable opinions; the Department of Defence, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Health, which supported and assisted the work of the Commission; and the Project Reference Group and the Australian Advisory Group on Suicide Prevention for their expertise and guidance.

For further information contact DVA Public Affairs:

6289 6203


Former and serving members of the ADF, their families, friends and carers, were encouraged to complete the survey or make a written submission.

Individuals and organisations providing support to Defence personnel were also invited to take the survey or make a submission, as were members of the wider community.

Outcomes from focus groups provided additional input to the Review.

Reference group

In addition to consultations, the Review is informed by a number of experts from organisations such as the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Services as well as a reference group.

The reference group, selected by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel, includes current and former members of the ADF, the Department of Veterans Affairs and ex-service organisations.

Previous investigations

The Review also considers previous studies and inquiries, including the implementation of recommendations arising from these investigations.

This includes inquiries conducted by the Senate and the study undertaken by Professor David Dunt in 2009 on suicide in the ex-service community.

Get help

If participating in aspect of the Review raises any concerns for you, help is available.

Get Help

24 Hour Emergency Services

Lifeline Australia

13 11 14

Suicide Call Back

1300 659 467

Kids Help Line

1800 551 800

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