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Coalition must act on ADF suicide rates: Greens

Media Release
Penny Wright 2 Oct 2013

The Australian Greens have called for the Coalition Government to urgently respond to rising suicide and PTSD rates in the Australian Defence Forces.

Spokesperson on mental health and veterans' affairs, Senator Penny Wright, urged Defence Minister David Johnston to reveal his plan to improve mental health support for servicemen and women.

"New figures today confirm twice as many defence personnel have committed suicide since entering Iraq as have been killed in combat, and cases of post-traumatic stress disorder continue to rise.

"Before the election, Minister Johnston said dealing with mental health challenges in the defence force would be at the top of his priority list.

"The Australian Greens are calling on the Minister to urgently respond to the growing need for mental health support as Australia withdraws from Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The Coalition must prove their commitment to supporting our defence forces is not empty rhetoric by outlining how they will address rising suicide and PTSD rates.

"The Australian Greens believe when our nation sends people off to serve on our behalf, we have responsibility to care for them properly when they return."

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