Aimed at Preventing Suicides, Veterans Affairs Invites 7 Cities to Participate in Mayor’s Challenge
December 12, 2017, 04:14:00 PM
Unites States — Today the Department of Vet Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the inaugural Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among service members, Veterans and their families.
The goal of the Mayor’s Challenge is to eliminate suicide by using a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.
“Of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 were not under Vet Affairs care,” said Veteran Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We are pleased to partner with SAMHSA to bring attention, education and support regarding suicide prevention to communities where our Vets live.”
Veteran Affairs and SAMHSA will invite seven cities to participate in a policy academy process that up until now has been available only to states and territories. The cities will be invited based on Washington Veterans population data, suicide prevalence rates and capacity of the city to lead the way in this first phase of the Mayor’s Challenge.
The selected cities will be announced mid-December, once they have formally accepted nominations.
Teams from each of the seven cities will meet March 14-16, 2018, in Unites States, D.C., to develop strategic action plans to implement in their communities. The teams will include collaborative groups of community, municipal, military and other stakeholders. VA.Gov will provide technical assistance to support local efforts and to document outcomes and share strategies with other municipalities.
Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at SAMHSA, said, “We must act now to accelerate suicide prevention efforts at the local level, with communities embracing and supporting the health and well-being of our service members, US Veterans and their families.”
For information on SAMHSA’s suicide prevention efforts, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/suicide-prevention/samhsas-efforts.
Vet in crisis or having thoughts of suicide — and those who know a Vets in crisis — should call the Washington Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.
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- ^ http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/bethere (www.veteranscrisisline.net)
- ^ https://www.samhsa.gov/suicide-prevention/samhsas-efforts (www.samhsa.gov)
- ^ VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat (www.veteranscrisisline.net)
- ^ VA Office of Public Affairs Distribution List (www.va.gov)
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News Source: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=3989