This in-brief report summarises results on the incidence of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel using fifteen years of data and identifies characteristics that may be associated with risk of suicide.
In 2001–2015 there were 325 certified suicide deaths among people with at least 1 day of ADF service since 2001. Of these deaths 166 occurred in the ex-serving population. Ex-serving men aged 18–24 were at particular risk—2 times more likely to die from suicide than Australian men of the same age. Service characteristics that may be associated with the higher rate of suicide in ex-serving men included: involuntary discharge—particularly medical discharge, short length of service (<1 year) and rank other than a commissioned officer.