A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) into the rate of suicide among serving and former-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was released this week.

Tragically it reported 1,273 have taken their own lives in the last two decades

Bravery Trust Chief Executive Officer Belinda Wilson said each and every suicide was devastating and had a profound impact on those around them.

She welcomed the Australian Government’s focus on improving services and early intervention.

Income, finance and employment are recognised as key factors to veteran wellbeing.  

Bravery Trust provides an immediate financial safety net and empower veterans with financial counselling and connection to other support services.

Bravery Trust supports serving and ex-serving members of the ADF who are facing financial hardship and have been injured during service:

Bravery Trust supports serving and ex-serving members of the ADF who are facing financial hardship and have been injured during service:

  • 66% are younger than 50-years-old
  • 80% are male
  • 74% have children
  • 60% have both mental and physical injuries
  • 58% within the first 10 years of transition

Ms Wilson said Bravery Trust had recently undertaken a Financial Counselling Service pilot program.

“We’ve seen promising results, with 97% of those who received financial counselling able to sustain financial independence.

“Empowering veterans through financial literacy leads to a better financial outcome for their family and, importantly, restores pride and increases the confidence of veterans to build their own financially sustainable future.

”Bravery Trust is working to expand the veteran-specific Financial Counselling Service to support all those who are medically discharged from the Australian Defence Force with early intervention.

‘When financial circumstances change suddenly and unexpectedly, it is essential that those affected can receive financial support as quickly as possible.”

Ms Wilson commended inaugural Veteran Family Advocate Gwen Cherne for her ongoing advocacy regarding the important and complex issue of veteran welfare.

Ms Wilson also welcomed the response from The Hon Andrew Gee, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, who announced an overhaul of the claims process and directed the

Department of Defence to speed-up the Joint Transition Authority (JTA) Implementation Plan.

“I have directed the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to make the speeding up of claims processing as well as reducing the backlog a matter of utmost urgency so that we can make sure our veterans receive the necessary financial support and wrap-around services,” Minister Gee said.

“The transition from military to civilian life is one of the keys to addressing this issue which means the work of the Joint Transition Authority (JTA) is of critical importance and I am keen to see it fast-tracked.

“I’ve directed the Department of Defence to provide me with detailed options and a proposed timeline to speed-up the JTA Implementation Plan to ensure that we provide better support to our ADF members and their families as they transition from military to civilian life.”

Injured or ill veterans and families in financial hardship can call Bravery Trust on 1800 BRAVERY (1800 272 837).

The AIHW report is available at www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/serving-and-ex-serving-adf-suicide-monitoring-2001/contents/about

Bravery Trust is a registered business name of the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust, a nationally registered charity.