ADF support needs increase
Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans are calling for support after a landmark inquiry into allegations of war crimes.
The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force's (IGADF) has recommended 19 current and former soldiers be investigated for the murder of 39 civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan.
The shocking revelations appear to be affecting the mental health of current and former ADF personnel.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs Open Arms support service has received more than 400 calls for help in recent days.
“What we've seen over the weekend is an increase in anxiety and we actually had a doubling of phone calls to our support line,” Open Arms national manager Stephanie Hodson has told the ABC.
“I think that the distress of what we've heard, when the report came out the other day — people are very, very proud of their service, many people went overseas and they sacrificed their time away from their families to go and serve.
“This does cause you to question; ‘Was my service worthwhile? What does it mean?’ But more importantly; ‘What does it mean for the future of the Army?’”
She says the increased demand since the IGADF report was released could show that people know help is available.
“I think the trouble is when people aren't connected, it's when we actually lose people,” Dr Hodson said.
“The more we as a community reach out and support people, the more we can actually make sure we don't lose anyone else.”
Legislation to create a new Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention is currently before Federal Parliament.