Mayors Challenge to Prevent Veteran Suicide among Service Members
The Mayors Challenge to Prevent Veteran Suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) was launched at the March 18 Policy Academy in Washington, D.C.
In June 2018, Mayor Adler accepted the invitation of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to participate in the Mayors Challenge to Prevent Veteran Suicide Among Veterans, Service Members and their Families (SMVF).
On July 17-18, 2018, SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF) Technical Assistance (TA) Center convened an initial meeting of 22 military and civilian stakeholders at the request of Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler. Responding to the Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among SMVF (Mayor’s Challenge), Mayor Adler appointed Sly Majid, Chief Service Officer for the city, to form a team to review the city’s approach to suicide prevention for SMVF and to begin developing a collaborative action plan to address any identified gaps.
The assembled team includes representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); Easterseals; Integral Care; Central Health; Austin Community College; the Texas Health and Human Services Commission; Austin Police Department; the City of Austin; Austin Fire Department, EMS, Samaritan Center, the Texas Suicide Prevention Coalition and both Dell Medical School and the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin.
The goals of the Mayors Challenge are outlined as follows:
- Reduce suicides among service members, veterans and their families using a public health approach to suicide prevention
- Increase knowledge about the challenges and lessons learned in implementing strategies by utilizing city to city sharing
- Employ promising, best and evidence-based practices to reduce the incidence of suicide related deaths and attempts at the local level.
Resources for Veterans:
City of Austin Veterans Resource Guide: https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/WELCOME_HOME.pdf
Heroes Night Out: www.heroesnightout.org
Heroes Night Out is a non-profit community-based organization that is dedicated to providing resources and services to Veterans, Service Members and their families in a safe, family friendly environment. veterans and families can get assistance
with all of their Texas veterans’ benefits, counseling, peer mentoring, and
Hidden Heroes: https://hiddenheroes.org/
Hidden Heroes brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and seeks solutions for the tremendous challenges and long-term needs they face. Hidden Heroes is a program of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening and empowering the nation’s military and veteran caregivers.
Military Veteran Peer Network: https://www.milvetpeer.net/page/custompage_map
The Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN) is a group of veterans and veteran family members committed to supporting active and former service members by offering mentorship and guidance, as well as help accessing the services and resources available to veterans.
The National Resource Directory and the Office of Warrior Care Policy: https://nrd.gov/
The National Resource Directory and the Office of Warrior Care Policy engage with programs for Service Members and Veterans across the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, other U.S. Government agencies, and associated organizations.
The Samaritan Center: https://samaritan-center.org/veteran-military-services/
Hope for Heroes – Hope for Heroes provides counseling and integrative medicine to current service members, veterans and military families suffering from service related trauma. Hope for Heroes therapists are selected for their extensive military and military family experience, clinical expertise with PTSD and TBI, and competency with the military culture.
Texas Suicide Prevention: https://texassuicideprevention.org/
Texas Veterans Commission: https://www.tvc.texas.gov/
The mission of the Texas Veterans Commission is to advocate for and provide superior service to veterans that will significantly improve the quality of life for all Texas veterans, their families, and survivors.
TexVet is the state clearinghouse for trusted information, resources, data, technical support, and research relevant to service members, veterans, their families, and those who serve them.
VA Veteran Crises Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach qualified responders with
the Department of Veterans Affairs. This service offers 24/7 free, confidential support to all veterans, service members, National Guard & reserve, as well as family members and friends.
PsychArmor® Institute provides critical resources to Americans so they can effectively engage with and better support military service members, Veterans and their families across our nation. PsychArmor produces online training videos — delivered by national subject matter experts on a cutting-edge educational platform.
Veterans Mental Health First Aid: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/integral-care-mental-health-first-aid-8536986501
Register for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings
VA Austin Outpatient Clinic: https://www.centraltexas.va.gov/locations/austin.asp
Serving the health care needs of Veterans in Austin and surrounding areas. This facility does NOT have an Emergency Room. Saturdays are by appointment only.
Cedar Park VA Clinic:
Primary care services for veterans in Cedar Park, TX area. Behavioral Health services including individual, group and family counseling, and programs such as QuitSmart Smoking Cessation.