Australia

PM 'considering' royal commission into veterans’ suicides, mental health

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not ruled out a royal commission into veterans' suicides. Source: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison agrees more needs to be done to prepare Australia's soldiers for when they leave the service after a number took their own lives.

The federal government is "actively" considering a royal commission into the mental health and wellbeing of ex-Defence personnel service, including those who've taken their own lives.

"I haven't ruled it out, it's something that I am actively considering," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Sky News on Thursday night.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison present veterans (L-R) Jordon Ivone and Kelly Wright with a Veteran's Pin at Parliament House in Canberra last month.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison present veterans (L-R) Jordon Ivone and Kelly Wright with a Veteran's Pin at Parliament House in Canberra last month.
AAP

Earlier this week, Mr Morrison met privately with the mothers of six army veterans who took their own lives after leaving the Australian Defence Force.

They included Julie-Ann Finney, who's collected more than 250,000 signatures calling for a royal commission into military suicides.

All the mothers have blamed the ADF for effectively abandoned their sons and the Department of Veterans Affairs for not offering enough support to ex-serving members.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
AAP

"It was a good opportunity for them to talk that process through and what it would mean for them and how it would help them and others who are going through that terrible, terrible set of circumstances," Mr Morrison said of the meeting.

"They were aware that I haven't ruled it [a royal commission] out."

Mr Morrison agreed more needs to be done to prepare soldiers for their transition from military to civilian life.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25). More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au and lifeline.org.au

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