Why is veteran health & wellbeing so important?
- It is estimated there are 600,000 veterans in Australia. This includes approximately 70,000 veterans who are currently serving or are reservists.
- The median length of service of permanent ADF members is currently 8.7 years and the mean is less than 8 years.
- Each year, around 6,000 veterans transition out of the ADF and into the civilian world.4 Of those transitioning, around 18% discharge for medical reasons.
- An estimated 46% of ADF members who had transitioned from full-time service within the past five years met 12-month diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder using a structured diagnostic interview.
- 3 in 4 recently transitioned ADF personnel have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime.
- Half of people who have served in the ADF have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime.
- More than 1 in 5 recently transitioned ADF members report suicide ideation, plans or attempts.
- Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, ‘A Better Way to Support Veterans’, Volume 1, No.93, 27 June 2019
We see the opportunity to harness the power of sport and the Invictus spirit, via regular international sporting events and always-on community engagement, to enable ongoing, locally activated sporting and recreational opportunities for veterans and their families, embedding the power of sport into their daily lives.
Research shows this approach works. “Physical activity has been shown to have a strong and positive influence on mental wellbeing and some mental illnesses. Participation in regular physical activity can increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. Physical activity can help play a role in preventing mental health problems and improve the quality of life of those experiencing them.” Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK.