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Australian Government Response to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Report: Mental Health of Australian Defence Force Members and Veterans

Australian Government

15 September 2016

Also involves sometimes being put in harm's way in the course of duty, and the occupational risks of service can include hardship, stress and danger, whilst on operational deployment, in training environments, providing disaster and humanitarian support, or during Border Protection tasks.

Just like all citizens, there are also normal challenges of life like career changes, moving house, relationship breakdowns, grief and loss, the growing older that can impact upon mental health and well-being. For service personnel, leaving the ADF that transition into civilian life can also be a time of significant adjustment.

It is normal for people to react to risks or challenging events in their lives, but sometimes these reactions are a sign of mental health concerns, particularly if the reactions persist or interfere with the ability to engage in normal life. In some cases, reactions or symptoms can emerge many years after an event. Defence and DVA systems must cater for those who experience mental health concerns while they serve those leaving the military with a mental health condition, as well as for those whose condition develops many years after service.

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