Upstream Approach to Suicide Prevention


Each September during Suicide Prevention Month, there is a focused community-wide effort to highlight the importance of suicide prevention. The Arizona Coalition for Military Families and our partners have been working in Arizona since 2009 to identify ways to provide the right support and resources at the right time to any service member, veteran, and their families. Our upstream approach means we seek to connect with people “upstream” before an issue or problem worsens into a crisis that can lead to suicide. We work to tackle the issues today so that they don’t turn into life-threatening situations that can cause people to think of suicide as an option.

Our approach is driven by data so that we are laser-focused on the actual needs of our Arizona service members, veterans, and their families. We tailor everything we do to anticipate and meet these needs as a way to save a life. This preventative stance informs all that we do, both from a service role to the community, as well as our year-round advocacy, policy, and research efforts.

In the same way that we continuously cultivate relationships with community resources to grow, expand and diversify our network of connections we leverage to help anyone who calls the statewide Be Connected program (866-4AZ-VETS), we also foster important connections for advocating for Arizona’s population. This may include working with our political leaders at the local, state, and national levels as well as partnering with public health agencies such as the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

We work with leading researchers at Arizona State University to gather data and discover insights to inform our work. Read on to learn about more of these important initiatives. We invite you to join us in our efforts by attending one of our upcoming events, becoming a resource navigator, and saving the date for our next Statewide Symposium taking place in Phoenix on April 19 & 20, 2023.

Recent Advocacy and Policy Work

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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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