Addressing Veteran Suicide


A Comprehensive Approach

In the United States, veterans face significantly higher rates of suicide compared to the general population. This trend is particularly pronounced in Arizona, prompting a pioneering response: the creation of the Veteran Suicide Mortality Review Team. This initiative, the first of its kind nationally, underscores a profound commitment to understanding and preventing veteran suicides through case review and analysis. Nicola Winkel, Project Director for the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, serves on the team.

The Mission of the Veteran Suicide Mortality Review Team

The Veteran Suicide Mortality Review Team is tasked with a sensitive yet crucial mission—to closely examine veteran suicide cases in Arizona. The team identifies common threads and contributing factors, ensuring the veteran is respected and honored. The insights are important guideposts that help enhance risk reduction strategies, suicide prevention recommendations, and bolster support systems.

Addressing the Disparity

To reduce the disparity in suicide rates among veterans, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families and the Be Connected program use a collective impact model with multi-faceted solutions that focus on upstream approaches. These upstream approaches work to provide support and connection to resources before a life-threatening crisis develops because suicide prevention is much more than intervening only at the point of crisis. Suicide prevention involves an entire spectrum of approaches including upstream prevention long before a crisis develops, crisis intervention when a crisis is imminent on happening, and postvention support for being who are affected when someone they know dies by suicide to prevent further trauma and potential subsequent suicides within a community.

Get More Involved

The work of the Veteran Suicide Mortality Review Team is a testament to the idea that suicide prevention is not solely the responsibility of any one person or entity; it demands a community-wide effort. You can each participate as an individual and through the organizations you are connected to. Here’s how you can take action and get involved.

Further Reading

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Be Connected and are provided in partnership by:

Special thanks to the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family for their partnership and support.

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