WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the completion of all 2020 priorities established under the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) to end suicide through seamless access to care, a connected research ecosystem and robust community engagement aimed at changing the culture around mental health care and ultimately preventing suicide among Veterans and all Americans.
- Launching REACH as a national public health campaign aimed at empowering all Americans to play a critical role in preventing suicide.
- Garnering signatures from 42 States and one U.S. Territory on a PREVENTS State Proclamation outlining agreed-upon practices and steps to engage their citizens in suicide prevention.
- Partnering with VA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes to create a Wellbeing in the Workplace Pledge and Guide to encourage companies to prioritize the mental health and wellness of their employees. More than 50 major U.S. companies and organizations have already signed the pledge.
“We have adopted a public-health approach to suicide prevention that enlists all Americans to recognize the signs of those who are vulnerable and connect them to resources that can help,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “I want every Veteran to know that VA is here for you, and we will not relent in our efforts to reach those who are struggling and connect them with lifesaving support.”
Achieving the 2020 milestones is fulfilled by the launch of the Suicide Prevention Grand Challenge under a partnership among PREVENTS and the VA Innovation Center in collaboration with the VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention — who will host a summit in February 2021 with experts in technology, mental health, suicide prevention and related fields to help guide the planning and implementation for the challenge.
The summit will build upon success and lessons learned from The White House Summit on Veterans Suicide held in September 2019, and guide efforts for launching, running, judging, and selecting winners of individual competitions in the Suicide Prevention Grand Challenge. For inquiries on the summit, please contact VASPGChallenge@va.gov.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
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