Release of report into suicide by veterans

The Federal Government has received the Senate report The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans.

 

The report was prepared by the Senate Reference Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel.

 

The Executive Summary of the Senate Committee's report said that:

“The committee was very concerned by accounts of negative interactions with DVA. It is logical that veterans who were satisfied with their experiences were less likely to be interested in the inquiry.

 

“Nonetheless, the committee believes a key contention by many witnesses, that the claims process is a key stressor and contributing factor to suicide by some veterans should be looked at closely.

 

“The committee has recommended that the government commission an independent study into the mental health impacts of the claims processes. (Chapter 3).

 

“Many veterans told the committee that they were unhappy with their experiences in medico-legal firms and being required to attend multiple appointments.

 

“The committee supports efforts by DVA, Defence and CSC to implement a single medical assessment process.

 

“However the committee has recommended that DVA reassess its use of medico-legal firms to ensure the assessments are appropriate for conditions of veterans, particularly mental health conditions” (Chapter 5).

 

The Minister for Veterans Affairs' Mr Dan Tehan said that the first annual Ministerial statement on veterans and their families made it clear where the Department of Veterans’ Affairs needed to improve.

 

Mr Tehan did not indicate when the Government would respond to the report's recommendations.

 

Download the report The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans from

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/VeteranSuicide/Report

 

16 August 2017.