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Interim National Commissioner’s report provided to the Australian Government

The interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention has today provided her Report to the Australian Government. The report contains recommendations to Government about immediate actions that can be taken in support of efforts to prevent deaths by suicide in the Australian Defence and Veteran community.

"I have today provided my report to the Australian Government" Dr Boss said.

"Following extensive consultation with the Defence and Veteran community, I have today made 39 recommendations to the Government about work that can commence immediately to help prevent these tragic deaths occurring in the future.

I want to especially thank those families who came forward to share their harrowing experiences with me, together with those current and former serving members who shared their deeply personal struggles with mental health and suicidality associated with their service. The courage they demonstrated in coming forward has greatly enhanced my insight into the issues contributing to these deaths.

There remains more important work to do, and I now leave that crucial work in the hands of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, knowing that my Report will provide a strong foundation for that work."

Dr Bernadette Boss CSC was appointed as interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention by the Australian Government on 16 November 2020. In line with the Terms of Reference issued by the Government on 8 December 2020, Dr Boss' Report examines the risk and protective factors and systemic issues relevant to ADF member and veteran deaths by suicide.

Following the commencement of the new Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, supplementary Terms of Reference were provided by the Government to Dr Boss on 6 August 2021, asking Dr Boss to finalise her work by providing a report to Government by 15 September 2021. This brought forward the initial completion date of 16 May 2022.

"Thanks to the energy of the Office of the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, I have been able to meet the truncated timeframe of 15 September 2021 for my report. It has been my great privilege to work with such a dedicated team of professionals," Dr Boss said.

Read the Terms of Reference for the National Commissioner.