Frequently Asked Questions About the Northwest Pennsylvania Veteran Suicide Prevention Program
How are we working to eliminate veteran suicide and promote veteran suicide awareness?
Healthcare providers, community organizations, Veterans and their families recognize the need for a comprehensive public health approach to addressing the growing rates of Veteran suicide in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The Northwest Pennsylvania Veteran Suicide Prevention Program is a collaborative effort to create significant and lasting change in our region through 2025.
Who is this program for?
This program is specifically designed for Veterans of all ages, their families, friends, and caregivers interested in reducing risks for suicide, promoting resiliency training, and overcoming the stigma of mental illness.
Where in Pennsylvania is the program taking place?
Healthcare partners, community organizations, and Veterans residing in the 15 counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania: Erie, Warren, McKean, Crawford, Forest, Elk, Clearfield, Jefferson, Armstrong, Clarion, Butler, Venango, Mercer, Lawrence, and Beaver, are eligible to participate. Visit our Resources page to learn more about services available in each county.
What are the program’s goals?
The program aims to reduce Veteran suicide attempts, injuries, and deaths by 10% (on average) over five years. By improving access to treatment and support services, we will increase awareness of Veteran suicide risk through suicide prevention community activities and training opportunities.
Who is currently involved?
The Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy is leading the program and working with federal and state-level entities, community-level service providers, and organizational experts in suicide prevention.
Is there a cost to participate?
There are no fees associated with participating. Funding is provided through an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control Division of Injury Prevention.
What opportunities are available?
Whether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities to get connected to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies for at-risk Veterans.
Community-based programs and services that create supportive environments, promote social belonging and community connections, and offer effective coping and resilience-building strategies.
Reduce misuse of firearms and prevent suicide by firearms.
Offer suicide awareness training for community members and Veterans.
Provide activities that promote Veterans culture and connection within communities.
Healthcare-related programs and services that identify and support people at risk and strengthen access to and delivery of care.
Identify procedures that result in referral to treatment.
Train practitioners to enhance their competency in identifying Veterans at risk.
Emphasize treatment options and opportunities to prevent suicide reattempts.
Promote policies that strengthen access and delivery of care by improving coverage for mental health conditions.
Improve access and coordination of medical, behavioral, and mental health care.
Increase awareness of existing mental health parity laws.
The list above offers an overview of the available opportunities. Please contact us for specific information and to connect with a program specialist.