cover image: Relationships Australia’s Submission to the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide


Relationships Australia’s Submission to the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide

18 Sep 2023

This submission is intended to provide insight into the issues affecting veterans and their families within our service specifically, as well as broader proposals into the changes needed to ensure family and relationship services are appropriate and effective for veterans, defence personnel, and their families. [...] Despite these limitations, practitioners felt that Open Arms’ extensive resources offered the latitude to plan and tailor interventions over time and with a relatively wide support network, so more should be done to promote the benefits of working with a cohort that have such varied resources available to them and to support practitioners to access these supports in the most effective way. [...] Formalise and fund ‘cultural competency’ and empower practitioners to work with this cohort A side effect of the sub-contracting model is that rather than using funding contracts to upskill whole sectors to work with communities, individual counsellors gain competency, sometimes through trial and error.3 As a result, there is a skills deficit within the family and relationship sector for veteran s. [...] Fund family and relationship counselling as a form of mental health and suicide prevention Relationships Australia believes that the mental health and suicide prevention sectors require a more complex understanding of the role that family, community and other relationships play in people’s mental health and wellbeing, which is appropriately reflected in our service system. [...] This means the patient with the presenting problem is the primary focus of intervention and the alleviation of that person’s symptoms is the goal.


Claire Fisher

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