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National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention

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Welcome to the Office of the National Commissioner

The National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention is being established as an independent body to inquire into, and support the prevention of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members.

Welcome to the Office of the National Commissioner

The National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention is being established as an independent body to inquire into, and support the prevention of suicide among serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members.

Register your interest
Defence and Veteran Suicide: Prevention through understanding research symposium
Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 March 2021
Find out more about the Prevention through understanding research symposium

Share your story and experience

The National Commissioner is committed to supporting people to contribute in a trauma-informed and restorative way.

This means you are in charge of how you talk to us.

We want to hear from families, serving and ex-serving members that have been affected by defence member and veteran suicide. We want to speak to you, to hear what you want to say in a caring and supportive environment and we urge you to contact our office. Everyone should be heard.

We want to approach this sensitive topic with people only when they are ready, I invite people to share their stories in a safe environment to avoid re-traumatisation,” said Dr Boss.

We will only be speaking with people when they are ready to contact us. This is in order to avoid re-traumatising people in circumstances when they are not ready to share with us.

We strongly urge families, serving and ex-serving members who have been affected by defence member and veteran suicide to contact the office. Everyone should be heard!

Register your interest

Crisis support

This website contains content about suicide and may be distressing for some people. If you or someone else needs help, please contact the following services.

000 ­– Triple zero

Call Triple zero (000) if you need immediate help or feel like you may hurt yourself or someone else.

Emergency Department

Visit your nearest emergency department if you need immediate medical help or your feel like you may hurt yourself.

Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling

Call 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms website.

ADF Mental Health All-hours Support Line

Call 1800 628 036 or visit the Defence website to find out more.

Lifeline Australia

Call 13 11 14 or chat online with Lifeline.

Suicide Call Back Service

Call 1300 659 467 or chat online with Suicide Call Back Service

Safe Zone Support

Call 1800 142 072 or visit the Open Arms website to find out more.

Beyond Blue

Call 1300 224 636 or chat online with Beyond Blue.

Background

The Australian Government is establishing the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention as a permanent independent body to examine deaths by suicide of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, to support the prevention of these deaths in the future.

Work is underway to develop the legislation to establish the National Commissioner’s function. The Attorney-General's Department is leading this work. Find out more about the legislation on the Attorney-General's Department website.

While this work progresses, the Australian Government has appointed an interim National Commissioner, Dr Bernadette Boss CSC.

Dr Boss commenced on 16 November 2020. Read Commissioner Boss’ media statement.

As a first priority Commissioner Boss has immediately commenced the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides. The Australian Government has announced terms of reference for the review.

Blue Sky

About the National Commissioner

On 5 February 2020 the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced the creation of the new National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention.

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News and Events

Discover the latest news and media and register your interest for upcoming events and engagement activities.

Australian bushland with a winding river

Independent Review

The National Commissioner will lead the Independent Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides. The terms of reference outline the scope of the review and the issues the National Commissioner will address to help prevent further deaths by suicide. 

Road Surrounded by Trees

Contact

You can contact the Office of the National Commissioner by phone, email and post. 

We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of Australia and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the elders past, present and emerging.