Mission and Vision

DSPO Mission:

Advances holistic, data-driven suicide prevention in our military community through policy, oversight, and engagement to positively impact individual beliefs and behaviors, as well as instill systemic culture change.

DSPO Vision:

Unwavering pursuit of a mission-ready, suicide-free military community.

DSPO Values:

Holistic; Innovative; Data-Driven, Collaborative; Integrity


The Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) was established in 2011 and is part of the Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. The Secretary of Defense designated a Defense Health Board Task Force to examine efforts to prevent military suicide. The creation of DSPO was the result of the Task Force recommendations.


DoD integrates a holistic approach to suicide prevention, intervention, and Postvention using a range of medical and non-medical resources. Grounded in a collaborative approach, DSPO works with the Military Services and other Governmental Agencies, Non-Governmental Agencies, non-profit organizations, and the community to reduce the risk for suicide.

Strategic Goals

Data Surveillance: Serve as the authoritative source for suicide data in the DoD.

Program Assessment: Evaluate the effectiveness and strategic integration of suicide prevention programs and research throughout DoD.

Advocacy: Serve as a lead change agent and champion for all suicide prevention efforts with our internal and external partners.

Policy Oversight: Serve as the primary originator and coordinator of suicide prevention policy throughout the DoD.

Outreach & Education: Advance the field of suicide prevention through strategic partnerships, targeted messaging, and evidenced-based training.

DSPO Heraldry

The White pillars represent the values of the organization; Transparency, Data-Driven, Evidence-Based, Participatory Approach, and Whole-of-Life Approach. Their interlocking symbolizes the bonds between community and strength of partnership forming the shape of the Pentagon signifying constant dedication and support to the Services. The wreath indicates strength and dedication for the total force to include Service members, their Families, and Department of Defense Civilians. The stars signify the military services, and their position above the wreath implies “not resting on one’s laurels”, but continually striving to help those at risk to suicide. The colors of the seal are Blue, White and Gold. Blue alludes to clarity and clear skies, while the sunburst portrays a new day and rays of hope. White is for caring, purpose and professionalism. Gold exemplifies excellence, integrity and honor.

Military Crisis Line

The Defense Suicide Prevention Office does not provide crisis services. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Veteran/Military Crisis Line for immediate assistance.

Military OneSource

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Director, Defense Suicide Prevention Office

Dr. Liz Clark, Acting Director

Dr. Liz Clark, a member of the Senior Executive Service, serves as the Director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. In this position, she is responsible for policy, oversight, and advocacy of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) suicide prevention programs, which include suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention efforts including policy, program development and evaluation, data surveillance, research, and outreach and engagement in support of more than 2M Service members and over 2.5M military family members worldwide.  (More...)