The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) has welcomed the appointment of the Royal Commissioners to investigate the incidence of veteran and defence personnel suicide.
RSL National President Greg Melick said the appropriate combination of investigative, legal and mental health skills, as well as the uniformed service experience of the retired senior police officer Nick Kaldas to head the Royal Commission was a very good outcome.
“The Commissioners are taking on a vitally important and challenging role and the RSL and its members will support them in whatever way we can,” he said.
The RSL provided input to the development of the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference and the organisation and its members will continue to provide support to find solutions that deal with the scourge of veterans’ suicide which impacts severely on the entire veteran community. Our members also stand ready to assist anyone affected by the Royal Commission and matters arising from it.
Greg Melick said the issue of veterans’ mental health and veteran suicide is supremely important and the time for action is long past.
“As I have said on behalf of the RSL previously, less than one in four of the recommendations of the many previous inquiries into veterans’ mental health issues have been implemented.
“The Royal Commission now provides the opportunity to redress this, to determine all the factors contributing to the poor mental health experience by veterans and the alarming incidence of suicide and attempted suicide, and provide a clear pathway for better outcomes for the veteran community in the future.”