Report on health of veterans released

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released the Health of Veterans report for 2022 as part of the broader Australia’s Health 2022 report.

Health of Veterans examines veterans' health status, with a particular focus on self-assessed health, health conditions, deaths, disability, and health risk factors. It also identifies veterans' health service use, focusing on medicines, hospitalisations, health expenditure and homelessness.

The report made four key findings:

  • Around 1 in 5 males, regardless of whether they have served or not, have a mental health condition.
  • Male veterans generally have lower rates of age-specific all-cause mortality than Australian males.
  • Male veterans share similar exposure to several health risk factors compared with males who have never served in the ADF.
  • The majority (78 per cent) of male veterans rate their health as good or better.

In addition to these findings, the report also found that current serving ADF male members are about half as likely to die by suicide as males in the broader Australian public. Whereas, male veterans are at a higher risk (24 per cent) of death by suicide than males in the broader public.

The report also explored other sectors such as the average age of current serving members compared to former serving members (31 years and 40 years and over respectively), the definition of a veteran, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health status and health service use of veterans.

To read the full report, visit the AIHW website.

Current serving personnel, veterans and their families who are experiencing concerns about their mental health are encouraged to reach out for support.

Defence personnel can contact their local health centre, the All Hours Support Line on 1800 628 036 or the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

Veterans and their families can also access support through Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service. Free, confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 1800 011 046.