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National suicide prevention adviser to bring whole-of-government approach

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester has welcomed the appointment of Christine Morgan as the new national suicide prevention adviser.

Morgan has been appointed to the position by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and will drive a "whole-of-government approach" to suicide prevention, as well as ensuring prevention services reach the communities that need them.

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“When it comes to veteran suicide, the only acceptable number for me is zero — the only acceptable number for the Australian people is zero,” Minister Chester said.

“This government is committed to putting veterans and their families first, and Ms Morgan’s appointment is another step forward in our continued focus on mental health and suicide, particularly for those most at risk."

The government has ensured all veterans can access free mental health care for life and expanded the Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling service, which provides professional support to veterans and their families. This support is needs-based, uncapped and available to any veteran who has served a single day in the Australian Defence Force.

“Recently, I convened the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit at Parliament House, where representatives from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Australian Defence Force leaders, ex-service organisations, and medical professionals met to help set the veterans’ mental health agenda," Minister Chester said.

“From the summit, we identified four critical priority areas — health care, transition, partnerships and engagement, communication and education — which will guide the preparation of the National Action Plan and a renewed Veteran Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy while we continue to consult with veterans and their families.

“I look forward to engaging with Ms Morgan to ensure we are doing all we can in preventing suicide in the ex-service community.”

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au.

National suicide prevention adviser to bring whole-of-government approach
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