Below are the ten points outlined yesterday in President Trump’s unveiling of the VA’s newest initiative to combat Veteran Suicide. The initiative will be led by the “Second Lady” of the United States, Karen Pence, who is the mother of an active duty Marine and implemented by Veterans Administration. We’ll talk about it.
Official PREVENTS recommendations
As released from the White House:
1. Create and implement a national public health campaign focused on suicide prevention for Veterans and all Americans.
2. Identify and prioritize suicide surveillance and research that focuses on a veteran’s unique combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors to deliver the most effective intervention(s) tailored to meet their needs and circumstances.
3. Promote foundational changes to the way research is conducted — including improving the speed and accuracy with which research is translated into practice, improving efficiency through data sharing and data curation practices, and using innovative funding techniques to drive team science and reproducibility.
4. Develop effective partnerships across government agencies and nongovernment entities and organizations to increase capacity and impact of programs and research to empower veterans and to prevent suicide.
5. Encourage employers and academic institutions to provide and integrate comprehensive mental health and wellness practices and policies into their culture and systems.
6. Provide and promote comprehensive suicide prevention trainings across professions.
7. Identify, evaluate, and promote community-based models that are effectively implementing evidence-informed mental health and suicide prevention programs across the country. In doing so, they should leverage relationships with community-based efforts, nonprofit organizations, faith-based communities, veteran and military organizations focused on saving the lives of veterans.
8. Increase implementation of programs focused on lethal means safety (e.g., voluntary reduction of access to lethal means by individuals in crisis, free/inexpensive and easy/safe storage options).
9. Develop a coordinated, interagency federal funding mechanism to support, provide resources for, and facilitate the implementation of successful evidence-informed mental health and suicide prevention programs focused on Veterans and their communities at the state and local levels.
10. Streamline access to innovative suicide prevention programs and interventions by expanding the network of qualified health care providers.