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The Australian Defence Force Review

On 11 August 2016, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel and the then Minister for Health and Aged Care announced a Review of the services available to veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in relation to the prevention of self-harm and suicide (the Review).

The Review focused on the type and efficacy of the self-harm and suicide prevention services that are available, and looked at prevalence rates and potential barriers to access of services.

The Review was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) and our Final Report was presented to Government on 28 March 2017.

The Commission’s Final Report can be found here.

The Government's response

The Government considered the Commission's Final Report and has released its response. This response outlines work already underway within the Department of Defence, Veterans' Affairs and Health and sets out the Australian Government's commitment to continue to improve the support available to current and ex-serving ADF members and their families.

The Government's response was released on 30 June 2017.

The Government's response can be found here.

For further information contact DVA Public Affairs:

6289 6203

The Commission thanks contributors to the Review

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.

Work on the Review

The Commission led an extensive literature review of Australian and international evidence, and received 114 submissions and more than 3,000 responses to five online surveys.

The Commission also held interviews with key informants and conducted group discussions across a number of locations, which provided valuable information to complement the information garnered from the submissions and the surveys.

Our work on the review included:

  • A documentation review (desktop audits) and analysis including analysis of online resources.
  • In-depth interviews.
  • Group discussions with: current and former ADF members, families and service providers which involved all three service arms across Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, ACT and Queensland.
  • ADF/DVA mapping: service mapping using international classification system for all ADF Health sites including repatriation hospitals and VVCS. Service Mapping comparisons for metro and regional areas relevant to former service personnel. Associated tables and commentary.
  • Geo-spatial mapping of population profiling, socio-demographic risk factors and health status for all 31 Primary Health Network regions (465 socio-demographic maps) and preparation of nine service geo-spatial maps relating to services in eight Joint Health Areas.

The Commission worked with the Project Reference Group as well as with the Australian Advisory Group on Suicide Prevention.

The Commission analysed all of the data collected, conducted a fact checking exercise with key stakeholders and formulated the final report with recommendations.



“We strive to continually improve the mental health system so people lead contributing lives with the right supports at the right time.”

Dr Peggy Brown AO, CEO
National Mental Health Commission

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