Abstract — HSRD 2019


2007 — Veteran Engagement in Suicide Prevention Training

Lead/Presenter: Alan Teo, COIN - Portland
All Authors:

Identify and explore new ways to best engage Veterans and their close supports (e.g., peers, friends, and family) in suicide prevention strategies.

Data Collection

In this proposed Veteran Engagement Forum, researchers will present an overview of three separate projects, each of which focuses on engaging Veterans and/or their close supports in training relevant to suicide prevention. The first project, presented by Dr. Ilgen, aims to increase utilization of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) by providing Crisis Line Facilitation training to hospitalized Veterans. The intervention culminates in the Veteran practicing calling the VCL with the guidance of a therapist. The second project, presented by Dr. Goodman, involves providing coaching to family members in how to conduct suicide safety planning with Veterans. The third project, presented by Dr. Teo, is designed to engage Veterans' peers in a brief online "gatekeeper training" in how to help identify Veterans at risk of suicide and refer them to professional treatment. Two of the projects are supported by ongoing VA-funded grants (IIR 14-103; RRandD Merit 01RX002432) and one has been submitted under the HSRandD Innovation RFA. Each project focuses on increasing use and uptake of a specific target behavior that is included in VA's existing suicide prevention activities and resources (VCL, safety plan, and gatekeeper training). Questions that will be asked of the Veteran Engagement Panel to facilitate discussion: 1. To what extent is the type of training described in these three projects relevant to suicide prevention among Veterans? 2. What would help to make these approaches more appealing to Veterans and/or their families? 3. What other important types of training are not included here? 4. What are strategies that a Veteran's close support can use to encourage a Veteran to participate in suicide prevention activities and resources, such as calling the VCL, developing and using a safety plan, and self-referring to mental health treatment?

Veteran stakeholders and HSRD/QUERI researchers

The feedback collected at this forum will inform the data analysis for the three presented projects. More broadly, it will suggest areas and methods to better engage Veterans and their close supports in suicide prevention training.