Today, Monday, November 29, the formal examination of a national tragedy begins its public hearings.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide acknowledges the shocking number of Australians with service history who have taken their lives.
Suicide rates are higher for ex-serving males and females than for the general population.
Such statistics when these people have willingly served their country, prepared to be sent into potential danger spots around the world, is an indictment on our society.
Something must be done.
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Hume Veterans Information Centre chair Wayne Taylor thinks the move out of military life needs to be managed better.
"Whilst people are still serving, they're connected to their mates, they're connected to medical (services), they're connected to all those support structures," he said.
"When they transition out, those links are broken."
The Royal Commission will hear from witnesses with lived experience of suicide, including family members of Defence personnel who have taken their life.
Royal Commission chair Nick Kaldas said today's Brisbane hearing represented the first of many public hearings to be held in capital cities and regional centres across Australia.
"Your stories will help the commission identify the systemic issues and risk factors for suicide, to address these issues to help reduce the suicide rate among serving and former military personnel," Commissioner Kaldas said.
Please, please, if you find yourself affected, talk to someone. Don't feel you have to endure everything on your own.
- Open Arms: 1800 142 072, 1300 MILVET (1300 645 838) or Lifeline: 13 11 14.
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