Minister Chester's statement to WIN Illawarra

Australians can be assured that the Government is working with veterans and their families every day to improve services and support for those who have served in our ADF, and will continue to play its part in improving mental health and reducing the risk of suicide.

Mental health is everyone’s business – families, friends, employers, community organisation and the ex-service organisation community.

Suicide is a national tragedy with more than 3000 Australians taking their lives each year, and there is no single solution to this often complex and sad issue.

A Royal Commission is not supported as our veteran community is better served by continuing and accelerating our ongoing transformation of DVA and the comprehensive reform so that it is easier for ADF personnel and veterans and their families to access support and services, including the support needed to address mental health challenges.

Veterans have access to free treatment for all mental health conditions.

Veterans and families have access to a dedicated 24/7 life line through Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service.


Open Arms provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit