Suicide is a public health challenge that causes immeasurable pain among individuals, families, and communities across the country. Suicide is also preventable. Veteran suicide is an urgent issue that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), along with its stakeholders, partners, and communities nationwide, must address. VA supports the national goal of reducing the annual suicide rate in the U.S. 20 percent by the year 2025 and is implementing a public health approach to achieve this mission.

Suicide prevention is VA’s highest priority, and VA has made great strides in Veteran suicide prevention, especially in crisis intervention. We will not relent in our efforts to connect Veterans who are experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis with lifesaving support. Mental health and crisis support services are critical for people showing signs of suicide risk in their thoughts or behavior, but we must go beyond engaging mental health providers, to involve the broader community and reach Veterans where they live and thrive — before they reach a crisis point. (Continue reading here…)

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