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Round tables

Round tables

Round tables will form an integral part of the National Commissioner's work as they enable people with a range of perspectives, expertise and experience to discuss ideas on important topics related to mental health and suicide in the current serving and veteran communities. These discussions will assist the National Commissioner in developing recommendations to prevent future deaths by suicide.

In November 2020, key representatives were invited to initial round tables meetings in Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In December 2020, the interim National Commissioner held round table discussions with key individuals from community groups representing current and ex-serving ADF members.

In January 2021, the interim National Commissioner held further round table discussions with academics, practitioners and key individuals from community groups representing current and ex-serving ADF members.

In February 2021, the interim National Commissioner held round table discussions with senior representatives from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Department of Defence.

If Commissioner Boss is unable to attend future engagements in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, a virtual meeting will take place.

Please register your interest to participate in the upcoming work of the National Commissioner.

 

  • Acacia Living Group
  • Air Force Association
  • Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans' Association Inc
  • Australian Special Air Service Association
  • Australian Veteran Alliance
  • Australian War Widows
  • Carry On(Victoria)
  • Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service
  • Defence Families of Australia (DFA)
  • Defence Force Welfare Association
  • Defence Reserves Association
  • Disaster Relief Australia
  • Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation
  • Legacy Australia
  • Mates4Mates
  • Modern Soldier
  • Naval Association of Australia
  • Open Arms, Partners of Veterans Association of Australia Inc.
  • Royal Australian Regiment Corporation
  • RSL National
  • RSL – ACT Branch
  • RSL – Hawthorn (VIC) Branch
  • RSL – QLD Branch
  • RSL – Victoria Branch
  • Soldier On
  • The Warrior's Return
  • The Department of Defence, including ADF and APS representatives
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • TPI Federation of Australia
  • Victorian Veterans Care
  • Vietnam Veterans and Veterans Federation ACT Inc
  • Veterans Support Centre Belconnen (or North)
  • Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia
  • Vietnam Veterans' Federation of Australia
  • Voice of a Veteran.

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These initial round table discussions are focused on transition to civilian life and mental health drivers for leaving the ADF, veteran mental health and wellbeing services, and the impact of claims processes on mental health. The questions being explored were informed by past reviews, inquiries and the ACSQHC's literature review, and include:

  • How do mental health impacts, arising while serving in the ADF, influence a person's decision to leave the ADF?
  • Are there barriers (including cultural or other barriers) to, or consequences for, members seeking help while serving in the ADF?
  • How does transition out of the ADF affect mental health?
  • What works, and what doesn't work? What are the particular challenges faced by people transitioning to civilian life?
  • Have recent changes implemented by Defence and DVA assisted the transition process? What more needs to be done?
  • What mental health and wellbeing services are available for veterans? Is there continuity of care from services available in the ADF into civilian life?
  • Are there processes in place to provide additional mental health support in times of particular stress (e.g. following the release of the IGADF Afghanistan report)?
  • What are the timeframes for veterans accessing mental health services?
  • Are there any barriers for veterans accessing mental health and wellbeing services?
  • Have there been any recent noticeable improvements to veteran mental health and wellbeing services?
  • What is the experience applying for support from DVA?
  • What are the barriers or difficulties in navigating the different supports?
  • What level of information or assistance is available from Defence and DVA to apply for support?
  • What impact does the application process have on a person's mental health?
  • Have any recent changes resulted in noticeable improvements in the assistance provided by DVA in applying for, or receiving, support?
  • Does Defence adequately support people who are transitioning to understand how to engage with DVA?

Thank you to the following organisations for their participation and contributions to the round tables to date:

  • Advisory Council for the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service
  • Air Force Association
  • Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans' Association Inc.
  • Australian Special Air Service Association
  • Australian Veteran Alliance
  • Australian War Widows
  • Australian War Widows NSW
  • Carry On Victoria
  • Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service
  • Defence Families of Australia
  • Defence Force Welfare Association
  • Defence Force Welfare Association – WA
  • Defence Reserves Association
  • Disaster Relief Australia
  • Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation
  • Hawthorn RSL
  • Legacy Australia
  • Legacy WA
  • Mates4Mates
  • Naval Association of Australia – WA
  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling
  • Overwatch Australia
  • QLD Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia
  • RAAF Association – WA
  • RSL– ACT
  • RSL – Victoria
  • RSL – WA
  • Solider On
  • The Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen and Women West Australian Branch
  • The Department of Defence, including ADF and APS representatives
  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • The Warrior's Return
  • Totally and Permanently Disabled Ex-Servicepersons Association (Townsville) Inc.
  • Veterans Services RSL Queensland
  • Victoria Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia
  • Victorian Defence Reserves Association
  • Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia
  • Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia – NSW Branch
  • Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia – WA Branch
  • Vietnam Veterans and Veterans Federation – ACT
  • Voice of a Veteran

The insights from these discussions are important in building a greater understanding of the systemic issues contributing to suicide in the ADF and veteran community. Further round tables will be held in 2021. Some activities may be conducted virtually depending on individual circumstances, or broader public health requirements (particularly noting the changing impacts of COVID-19 on the ability for people to travel interstate). Round tables will cater for a variety of relevant professional and interest groups.

If you are interested in participating in the upcoming work of the National Commissioner, you can register your interest.