An “all hands on deck” approach to suicide prevention

At CVN, we are deeply committed to suicide prevention efforts among all veterans and their family members.

Caitlin Thompson, Ph.D.

Yesterday, VA released its newest National Suicide Data Report, which indicates that suicide rates among our youngest post-9/11 veterans (those 18-34 years old) have significantly jumped from 2015 to 2016.  Also, of grave concern, is the data which suggests that Veterans who were part of the National Guard or Reserve units who were never called up for federal service and, therefore, receive fewer VA benefits and access to VA care also had increasing rates of suicide.  Finally, we must focus on the care of our women veterans and their families.  As the data shows, female veterans die by suicide at a rate of 1.8 times that of female non-veterans.

At CVN, we recognize that there needs to be an “all hands on deck” approach to suicide prevention.  No one can tackle this devastating problem alone.  Therefore, we are proud to work with the VA and other organizations together to focus on caring for our veterans and their families.

We are also driven by this data to enhance the care that is provided by VA and other healthcare systems.  At CVN, we treat veterans regardless of their discharge status or their time in federal service.  Over 25% of our veteran clients are women.  And we provide care to the entire military family, including children.

Suicide prevention is a public health emergency for our entire country.  At CVN, we will continue to focus on ensuring that we care and serve those who served us and work together with any organization to combat this devastating problem. The network has been running a month-long Suicide Prevention Awareness campaign, which includes a video series and concludes today with a free public webinar on Lethal Means Safety Counseling to Reduce Suicide Risk.

 

By Caitlin Thompson
CVN Vice President, Community Partnerships