Over the past year the Manchester VA Medical Center has been implementing the Zero Suicide framework in collaboration with the Zero Suicide Institute® at Education Development Center.
The Zero Suicide framework focuses on suicide prevention in health care systems. It embodies our commitment to patient safety and support for staff working with individuals at risk for suicide. The Manchester VA Designing for Zero (DfZ) project aligns the Zero Suicide framework with the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) mission, locally identified suicide prevention priorities, and operationalizes VHA’s High-Reliability Organization (HRO) Journey specifically for suicide prevention.
Because not all Veterans receive their care through the VA, implementing a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention that reaches all Veterans is only possible with community partner engagement. Manchester VA, with the support of the NH State Suicide Prevention Council, is engaging a dozen key community partner agencies across New Hampshire in a 9-month online community of practice (CoP) that kicked off in August. This CoP offers opportunities for community partners to apply the organizing principles of Zero Suicide to their own suicide prevention practices. Such collaboration will further strengthen partnerships between VA and communities throughout the state.
September is Suicide Prevention Month. We can all make a difference in the life of a Veteran! Support a Veteran in your life by reaching out. We also encourage you to share these materials with your own networks to raise awareness about Veteran suicide prevention.
If you are a Veteran having thoughts of suicide, or if you are concerned about a Veteran, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.