This is the AIHW’s fourth annual report on suicide among permanent, reserve and ex-serving ADF members. Previous editions included members with at least one day of ADF service since 1 January 2001. The current report expands on this earlier work by including members with at least one day of ADF service since 1 January 1985, following extensive investigation and validation of historical data sources. This more than doubles the population under consideration; 149,000 ex-serving ADF members in addition to the 125,000 ex-serving ADF member population in previous reports.

The larger study population enables more detailed analysis, providing greater insight into the risk and protective factors for suicide within the permanent, reserve and ex-serving populations.

Because the ex-serving population included in this report is more than double that of the previous report the numbers of suicides reported in this report are larger than previously, however the general patterns including rates of suicide and comparisons with the general Australian population remain similar to previous studies.

This report includes numbers of suicide deaths between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2019 and rates of suicide from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2019. Further information on veteran population scope can be found in the Technical notes.

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Please consider your need to read the following information. If this material raises concerns for you or if you need immediate assistance, please contact any of the following:

Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling 1800 011 046

Open Arms Suicide Intervention page

Defence All-hours Support Line (ASL) 1800 628 036

Defence Member and Family Helpline 1800 624 608

Defence Chaplaincy Support  1300 333 362

ADF Mental Health Services

Lifeline 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue Support Service 1300 22 4636

For information on support provided by DVA, see: