Unemployment major contributor to veteran suicide rates.

Unemployment is a major contributor to the high rates of veteran suicide in Australia, a Senate inquiry has heard.

The rate of suicide in Australia is around 12 per 100,000 people, more than double the rate of road accident deaths. But specialists have given evidence that there is no clear data on the number of veterans who die by suicide each year, and say there is a lack of will to collate the figures.

Dr Katelyn Kerr from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) told the inquiry the current numbers did not tell the full story.

“Certainly the statistics can be an underrepresentation, because not everyone is reporting if someone is a veteran or if someone is ex (-military) or currently serving,” Dr Kerr said.

“And so that’s difficult. We need a system whereby we know every single suicide whether they are veterans or not.

“Until now, I think there has been a lack of will to bring all of this information together and get a very comprehensive picture of what is going on out there.”

The inquiry has so far heard about a range of contributing factors to suicide in the veteran population, chief among them unemployment and the transition back to civilian life.

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Originally Published by ABC News, continue reading here.

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