03 / 12 / 2019
Recent news reports reveal that the suicide rate of both males and females, post discharge from defence is alarmingly high.
“We know that the suicide rate for ex-service males is 18% higher than for all Australian men, and up to 114% higher for females, according to the most recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reporting.
“These figures are alarming and it makes the work of Operation Compass and the Check Your Mates campaign even more vital,” said Mr Ray Martin, Project Manager of Operation Compass. “As a garrison city, the Townsville and regional community has a deep and rich connection with the ADF and it is now our responsibility to provide community-wide support.
51% of ADF suicides were of people no longer serving at the time of their death.
Ex-serving men aged 18–24 had a suicide rate 3.8x as high as all Australian men of the same age.
Suicide rates for ex-serving men aged 18–49 were between 3 and 4 times as high as for men aged 50–84.
FACT: The most at-risk population – males, 18-29 years who have discharged from the Defence Force.
FACT: The 12-month transition period post-discharge is the most critical time.
“We know that the first 12 months post-discharge is the most critical,” said Mr Martin. “If you know someone who has been discharged from service, please reach out to them and have a chat to see how they are travelling. It really does make all the difference, particularly during times that can be triggering, such as Christmas.”
The Check Your Mates campaign is an outcome of the Operation Compass project - the ex-ADF and Families Suicide Prevention Project, based in Townsville. Operation Compass is one of 12 National Suicide Prevention trial sites funded by the Commonwealth Government. It is the only project focused exclusively on veterans of the ADF and their families. The project is coordinated through the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network.
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