America Warrior Partnership
The America Warrior Partnership’s project Operation Deep Dive will receive $2,961,536 over four years to identify critical markers of suicide amongst the veteran population to understand and enable the development of more effective interventions to reduce suicide in this population. The project aims to first take a “deep dive” into the individual, organizational, and community factors that contribute to suicides and early mortality due to self-harm among all those who have served in our armed forces, and then create a holistic plan to help communities be more equipped in prevention.
According to the VA, 20 Veterans a day commit suicide. Veterans are only 8.5% of the adult population, but account for 18% of all adult suicides, and the suicide rate among veterans is 35.3 per 100,000 for Veterans compared to 15.2 per 100,000 of the adult civilian population. Reducing the suicide rate among all those who have served in our nation’s armed forces is a critical need and is now the number one clinical priority of the Secretary of the VA. Presently, communities cannot target veterans at the greatest risk for suicide because little is known about the characteristics of veteran suicide specific to county, city, or region.
This project aims to assist in developing social markers, specific to a community, to enable veteran programs to tailor their outreach, assessments, measurement tools, and message to the veteran population at greatest risk. This added level of granularity will improve the baseline level of understanding of the victim’s life leading up to the suicide, helping the field to move beyond talking about suicide risk factors and closer to being able to identify the early warning signs of imminent suicide attempts.
Jim Lorraine, JLorraine@americaswarriorpartnership.org