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Attributed to:   YouTubeWorld Health Organization (WHO)   I had a black dog, his name was depression : World Health Organization;2014. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. AV Connect Permissions 7/7/2022

You are NOT alone

Veteran Suicide Prevention Support

Available to download free from the App Store and Google Play

Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognised

There are behaviors that may be signs a Veteran or First Responder needs support. 

  • Hopelessness, feeling like there is no way out

  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness or mood swings

  • Feeling like there is no reason to live

  • Rage or anger

  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking

  • Increasing alcohol or drug use

  • Withdrawing from family and friends



The presence of the following signs in a Veteran or First Responder requires immediate attention:

  • When asked, they express a desire to hurt or kill themselves

  • When prompted, they reveal that they are looking for ways to kill themselves

  • They talk about death, dying, or suicide

  • They begin to exhibit self-destructive behavior, such as increased drug or alcohol use, talking about acquiring/using weapons for self-harm, and stockpiling medication

Ask the most important question of all – Are you thinking of harming yourself?

Read resources available from the below links from organisations that have special trained professionals to assist you in how to ask the taboo question.

Talk to your GP or another medical professional if you have been affected by the Veterans thoughts and behaviours.


Validate the Veteran's and First Responder's experience and encourage treatment and fast-track getting help

As you listen to the Veteran, ask him or her do the talking and use supportive, encouraging comments.


Let the Veteran or First Responder know that you are listening and acknowledge his or her experience.

Talk openly about suicide – Be willing to listen and allow the Veteran to express his or her feelings


  • Recognise the situation is serious

  • Do not pass judgement

  • Reassure them that help is available

If you are a Veteran or First Responder in crisis or concerned about one, connect with a caring, qualified Veterans or First Responders Crisis Line for confidential assistance.

Operation Life APP

Available to download free from the App Store and Google Play

Beyond Blue

Blackdog Institute

Information sourced from Health Direct


If someone has tried to harm themselves or someone else, or you think they are about to, call triple zero (000) immediately or go with them to an emergency department.

Another option in a crisis is to contact your local crisis assessment and treatment team (CATT). This is a team that provides immediate help during a mental health crisis. Experiencing or caring for someone during a mental health crisis can be frightening but help is available 24 hours a day.

A CATT responds to urgent requests to help people in mental health crisis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A mental health crisis can include:

It might be the flare-up of an existing condition like schizophrenia or someone's first experience of mental illness. There might be an obvious cause for the crisis, or there might not be.  Whether at home or elsewhere, the CATT assesses the person's current mental state, their psychiatric history, what social support they have and more. They will work with the person involved and their family and/or carer to determine the best way to help.  One option is to provide intensive treatment, care and support at home, and this is what they hope to do. But there are times when treatment in hospital is needed. If so, they will help the person get to hospital by arranging referrals and transport.  To find your local CATT or PET team, ring your closest major public hospital.

If you need help now, call your state's mental health crisis line for immediate expert support. They will help you work out which services can best help. This could be the doctor, a hospital emergency department or a community mental health service. Sometimes, the CATT will be sent to you, wherever you are.

Additional Assistance


If you feel you can’t call any of the above services, you can also:


  • Talk to someone you trust.

  • Contact your GP, a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

  • Head to Health- Funded by the Australian Federal Government, Head to Health is an online gateway to trusted mental health resources and content from Australia’s leading health organisations.

You can contact your GP for a Mental Health Plan.


Check your eligibility here:  mental health treatment plan

You can find a Health professional here:

National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project

Australian Defence Force suicide monitoring by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Historically, ex-serving ADF members have faced an increased risk of suicide. Reducing the rate of suicide remains a concern in the Australian community, and a priority for the Australian Government.  To increase understanding on the complex issue of suicide in serving and ex-serving ADF members, the AIHW provides annual updates to monitor the incidence of suicide in permanent, reserve and ex-serving ADF members (see Box 1). This work has been commissioned by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

White Structure

'Talk to me': Improving mental health and suicide prevention in young adults

Learn strategies to help improve the mental health of young people in your life, recognise concerning behaviours, and feel better prepared to have conversations about mental health.


Anyone connected, or feels honoured to remember the sacrifice that Australian Veterans and First Responders gave, or are giving to us, understands the high priority for preventing suicide amongst all Veterans and First Responders.    

It is also important to realise that not all Veterans or First Responders will reach out, and may never, seek care within the Australian Mental Health Support systems.  

As a civilian, Veteran, First Responder or comrade of a Veteran/First Responder, you can play a role in accomplishing Australia’s mission to combat suicide amongst our heroes, and there are many tools, programs, and support lines to reach out too.  

You can discover suicide prevention resources to build networks of support among community-based organisations, Veterans or First Responder Service Organisations, health professionals, and other members of your community.

It is now time that we all strengthen the defence qualities for Veterans and First Responders,

as they do or have once done for us all.

The Good practice framework for mental health and wellbeing in first responder organisations was developed as part of the beyondblue First Responders Program.

Attributed to:   YouTubeWorld Health Organization (WHO)  Living with a black dog, his name was depression : World Health Organization;2014. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGOAV Connect Permissions 7/7/2022

After Suicide

Suicide for families, friends, workmates, and communities can be very emotional and overwhelming. Many organisations provide support to those coming to terms with the traumatic experience and understand the emotional support required once impacted by suicide.   

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