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VA and health care leaders create a call to action through national suicide prevention task force

October 1, 2019, 01:37:00 PM

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VA and health care leaders create a call to action through national suicide prevention task force

Focus is to raise awareness and drive change

 The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End the National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) task force hosted a health care leadership meeting at the White House to bring together leaders across the health care industry to discuss their role in changing the culture around mental health, substance misuse and addiction.

VA recognizes it must work with communities, faith-based and tribal organizations, private and public partners, as well as state, local, and federal government agencies to achieve this goal.

“Collaboration with major healthcare delivery systems is an integral part of VA’s public health approach to suicide prevention,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Suicide prevention and alleviating emotional pain and suffering requires an all-hands on deck comprehensive approach. The work of the PREVENTS task force, like this meeting, moves us closer to solving the problems that lead to Veteran suicide.”

VA and the White House Domestic Policy Council established the PREVENTS task force in June via Executive Order signed by President Trump in March. The interagency task force is charged with implementing a roadmap for Veteran suicide prevention at the national and community levels by March 2020.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support available 24 hours a day, seven 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.

Reporters covering this issue can download VA’s Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet or visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.org for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.

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