Commission into veteran suicide announced

Men and women who have served our country should never reach a point where they take their own lives. Veteran’s suicide is one of the greatest tragedies in our society.

The Morrison Government is establishing a National Commissioner for Defence and Veterans Suicide Prevention.

The National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention will be empowered to perform two roles:

• The Commissioner will be an independent and permanent public accountability body, with the same powers of a Royal Commission to compel the production of evidence and summon witnesses and make findings and recommendations to Government.

• The Commissioner will also provide an ongoing investigative function of individual cases of suicide, working with each state and territory coronial office, making recommendations to Government.

A Veteran Family Advocate will also be appointed to directly engage with the families of veterans, to improve the design of all veteran programs and services, including mental health supports and services.

The Commissioner will start with a review of the tragic deaths of the more than 400 suicide deaths in the defence and ex-service community since 2001 with an interim report due in 12 months.