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Announcement and aim

The Review was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 11 August 2016.

It is an independent analysis 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 will build upon its earlier work on Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities, the report of the national review of mental health programs and services.

The Review will examine 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 aims to provide further information and advice to the federal government to help focus future activity.

Reporting and timing

The Commission will report its findings to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, and the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Sussan Ley, MP.

An interim report will be presented by 16 December 2016 with the final report due by 28 March 2017.


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

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

Outcomes from focus groups will provide 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 will also consider 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.

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