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HSR&D Suicide Prevention Research Roadmap

October 15, 2018

It is estimated that Veteran suicides represent approximately 22% of all suicide deaths in the United States; therefore, VA’s FY2018-2024 Strategic Plan has identified preventing Veteran suicide as its highest clinical priority. This plan reflects VA’s vision for a coordinated national strategy to prevent suicide among all Veterans – one that maintains VA’s focus on high-risk Veterans in healthcare settings, but also incorporates broad public health approaches for prevention, with an emphasis on comprehensive, community-based approaches.1

HSR&D is working in many areas to contribute to this national strategy. The HSR&D Suicide Prevention Research Roadmap aligns with the “Joint Action Plan for Supporting Veterans during their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life” (response to Executive Order 13822) to ensure the seamless access to a continuum of high-quality mental healthcare and suicide prevention resources during the transition from uniformed service to civilian life, particularly during the first year following discharge. As outlined in the Joint Action Plan, the Roadmap will use the Prevention Classification Framework from the National Academy of Medicine:

  • Universal strategies for all Veterans,
  • Selective strategies for Veterans at greater risk, and
  • Indicated strategies for high-risk Veterans.

In addition, HSR&D investigators are conducting an array of studies that will help VA improve suicide prevention strategies. Study topics include Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Preventing Suicide in Military Veterans, Increasing Treatment Seeking among Suicidal Veterans Calling the Crisis Line, and Veterans Coping Long-Term with Suicide, to name a few.

  1. National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide: 2018-2028. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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