New Zealand First hopes Defence Force will take care of soldiers

An Australian study has shown that defence force veterans are more likely to self-harm than those on active duty. Photo / File
An Australian study has shown that defence force veterans are more likely to self-harm than those on active duty. Photo / File

New Zealand First hopes the Defence Force will take better care of its personnel, in the light of shock suicide figures from the Australian military.

An investigation there has found serving personnel and veterans are more likely to die of self-inflicted injuries, than on active duty.

Australia lost 41 soldiers over the 13 years it was in Afghanistan, while in the past year alone there have been 41 suicides among active and former soldiers.

Defence and veteran affairs spokesman Ron Mark said New Zealand servicemen and women are also needing support to help deal with what they've seen at war.

"I'm frequently contacted by New Zealand service personnel, or family, who are worried about somebody, who is not getting the kind of treatment, or not getting effective counselling from the Defence Force."

In Australia, grieving families of those lost say they might still be alive today if they had received adequate support from the Australian Defence Force and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA), News Corps' Sunday Herald Sun investigative report says.

It says a high number of Australian soldiers return from war zones depressed, anxious and in despair but unable to find help.

Families who lost loved ones have spoken out in the report to highlight the plight of military men and women at risk.

Almost all of those lost had been deployed to overseas operations, including Iraq, East Timor, Afghanistan or served on navy ships on border patrol.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

- NewstalkZB

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 02 Oct 2016 11:25:01 Processing Time: 819ms