Mental health and families focus of Hobart hearing

National Mental Health Commissioner, Alan Woodward will be among the witnesses to appear at the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide during the second week of its public hearing in Hobart.

Mr Woodward is expected to provide insight into national suicide prevention strategies and ways in which Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention systems can be improved.

The Commission will also hear accounts from lived experience witnesses of inadequate mental health support for veterans; difficulties and delays in claims processing by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the impact of suicide on families.

Recruitment to the Australian Defence Force – including screening processes, psychological testing and retention – will be discussed on Wednesday.

Last week the Commission heard from Senator Jacqui Lambie and former soldier Gavin Tunstall, State Veterans’ Affairs Minister Guy Barnett and ex-service organisations, including RSL Tasmania.

The Hobart hearing concludes on Wednesday, 10 August at the Wrest Point Hotel.

It is the last public hearing before the Commission’s interim report is delivered to the Governor General in Canberra on August 11.

Anyone affected by Defence and veteran suicide, or by the challenges of Defence life, is encouraged to make a submission.

The hearing is open to the general public and anyone wishing to attend is required to register.

The proceedings will be live streamed on the Royal Commission website.

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