Title

Awareness of Suicide Prevention Programs Among US Military Veterans

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-12-2019

Publication Title

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

Volume

47

First page number:

115

Last page number:

125

Abstract

To assess U.S. veterans’ awareness and participation in suicide prevention programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A nationally representative sample of 1002 veterans was surveyed online in 2018. The majority of veterans reported knowing about Vet Centers (72%), the Veterans Crisis Line (65%), and the VA Center for Suicide Prevention (54%). However, only 5% had attended a community event related to veteran suicide and 2% had used VA’s Virtual Hope Box. Veterans aware of the Veterans Crisis Line had more medical conditions and were more likely to report VA as their primary healthcare provider. Veterans aware of VA’s Center for Suicide Prevention were younger, male, had more medical conditions, and more likely to screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and past homelessness. History of suicidal ideation or attempt was not associated with awareness of suicide prevention programs. VA’s suicide prevention programs reach a broad segment of the veteran population, including those with and without histories of suicidality. More targeted outreach may be needed for veterans most at-risk for suicide who are unaware of available resources.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology

Language

English

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