Veteran News

News Summaries regarding Veterans Disability Benefits

February Summit Prompts New Initiatives at VA to Strengthen Suicide Prevention

Early in February 2016, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stakeholders and thought leaders met at the “Preventing Veteran Suicide – A Call to Action” summit to discuss current research, approaches and best practices to address reducing veteran suicide. Following the conference, the VA announced several changes with the goal of strengthening its approach to suicide prevention. Among them:

  • Managing and evaluating its Suicide Prevention Program;
  • Providing veterans with same-day evaluations of and same-day access for urgent mental health needs by year’s end;
  • Tailoring mental health treatments to individual needs, as reported by veterans;
  • Looking at the impact of deployment and combat as it relates to mental health, suicide and well-being
  • Using predictive modeling to guide early interventions for suicide prevention;
  • Utilizing data on suicide attempts and overdoses to guide strategies to prevent suicide;
  • Increasing the availability of naloxone rescue kits throughout VA to prevent deaths from opioid overdoses;
  • Establishing three regional tele-mental health hubs to enhance Veteran Mental Health access
  • Maintaining a partnership with the Department of Defense to help veterans transition from military service to civilian life

For more information on suicide prevention, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/.