Agencies Supporting the Review
In addition to the independent work of the interim National Commissioner, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and Phoenix Australia provided technical expertise to support the Independent Review.
They supported the interim National Commissioner by linking and analysing available data. They also reviewed existing research and policy approaches.
This data was used by the interim National Commissioner to identify themes and trends that may be relevant to deaths by suicide among serving and ex-serving defence members. This included looking at ‘risk factors’ and ‘protective factors’ for suicide– characteristics that may increase or decrease a person’s risk of dying by suicide.
These organisations were careful to protect people’s privacy and confidentiality and followed strict rules and laws in relation to this.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is Australia's leading health and welfare statistics agency. The AIHW provides independent information and statistics to enable evidence-based decision-making and achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for all Australians.
To support the review, the AIHW compared and analysed health and welfare experiences of serving and ex-serving defence members with at least one day of service from 1 January 2001 who have died by suicide from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2018. This quantitative analysis informed the key objectives of the Revised Terms of Reference dated 8 December 2020.
The AIHW produced a Report of their work, which has been published on the AIHW website.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) is an independent authority that leads and coordinates national improvements in the safety and quality of health care for Australians. The ACSQHC aims to ensure people receive the health care they should, and are kept safe when they receive it.
The ACSQHC supported the Independent Review by under taking a literature review which looked at existing research and policy approaches. The literature review is available for download.
The ACSQHC also conducted an analysis of coronial information which focused on people who served one day or more since 1 January 2001 and died by suicide between 2001-2018. The ACSQHC will deliver their final report to the Attorney-General by 5 November 2021.
The Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (Phoenix Australia) is a national research centre, based in Victoria, and focused on posttraumatic mental health. They are affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, and are part of a collaboration of military and veteran mental health researchers, practitioners and implementation organisations across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
In support of the interim National Commissioner, Phoenix Australia completed an in-depth literature review. This review looked at the framework and criteria for qualitative analysis of coronial files and related data, and examined the current research and unpublished literature on Defence and veteran suicides, and suicidality in general.