One death by suicide is a death too many. But how many new reports does it take before real action is taken on addressing the issues?
This is the line of questioning being asked by the growing list of people calling for a royal commission into veteran suicides in Australia.
Or as they see it, an opportunity to allow veterans the chance to tell their stories themselves.
Among them is Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie, who has become increasingly frustrated by the political disconnect in addressing the issue - particularly when it comes to what she refers to as cultural problems within the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
But taking the politics out of picture, we should be listening to the ex-servicemen and woman whose shared experiences of mental ill-health point to systemic failures within the system.
Or, to the families of those who have tragically already lost a son, daughter, brother or sister - because one death by suicide is a death too many. But without a platform, how will their voices be heard?
In recent years veteran suicide has become a major talking point at Remembrance Day services. At last year's Launceston service, guest speaker Major Daniel Ritchie described it as a heartbreaking epidemic.
Now here we are almost a year on, and what has changed?
The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report painted a bleak picture for the fate of our veterans, once they have left the defence force.
Male veterans were 21 per cent more likely to die by suicide than their counterparts in the general community. For female veterans, it was more than double the rate among average Australian females.
But as Ms Lambie put it: "another study into veteran suicide rates finding the same thing as the last 17 reviews of the last 17 years isn't shocking to me".
Addressing rising suicide rates and increased demand on mental health services within the broader population is a national issue.
But as a state with one of the largest veteran populations by proportion, it beggars belief that there is still no dedicated in-patient mental health service for veterans in our state.
Some steps have been made. A feasibility study, funded by the state and federal governments, is examining whether Tasmania would be suited to a veteran wellbeing centre. But again this is just another report.
One death by suicide is too many. How many more lives need to be lost, families and communities torn apart, before we see real action?
- For crisis report, call Lifeline 13 11 14.
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