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The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

19 July 2017

Statement provided to ABC 730

"According to the latest data there are more than eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day. Tragically, serving and ex-serving Defence personnel are not immune from this.

“I have asked for a review by both Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs of the handling of Jesse Bird's discharge and case management.

“Due to privacy reasons, I cannot comment on individual cases, but I will be meeting with Karen and John Bird in the coming weeks.

“We are transforming the way we deliver mental health care and support to our veterans but as a society we must be clear; one suicide is one too many."

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: 02 6277 7820
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203


Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.