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El Paso County Suicide Prevention Community Conversation: Preventing Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families

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On August 2nd, 2019, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Service Member, Veterans, and Military Family Technical Assistance Center, and the El Paso County SMVF Suicide Prevention Coalition led a community conversation regarding the strategies of the Colorado National Collaborative and the Governor's Challenge to Prevent SMVF Suicide.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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El Paso County Suicide Prevention Community Conversation: Preventing Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families

  1. 1. El Paso County Suicide Prevention Community Conversation: Preventing Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Friday August 2, 2019 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  2. 2. 9:00-9:15- Brief intro from Governor’s Challenge 9:15-9:45- Overview and Why We’ve Gathered 9:45-10:30 Small Group Discussions 10:30-11:00 Networking Break 11:00-11:30 Small Group Share outs 11:30-12:00 Next Steps AGENDA OVERVIEW
  3. 3. Colorado Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Nationwide Governor’s Challenge Initiative: In an effort to meaningfully implement the 2018-2028 National Strategy for the Prevention of Veteran Suicide, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has teamed up with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to convene and support state interagency leaders in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Texas, and Virginia. Who we are: The Colorado Governor’s Challenge is a group of committed organizations and individuals collaborating towards the shared goal of reducing the impact of suicide and suicide attempts among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. Mission: The Colorado Governor’s Challenge is working to ensure that Service Members, Veterans, and their families have access to responsive healthcare, including mental and behavioral health services; have the social support to lead meaningful and satisfying lives; are connected to their community; that any individual in this population who has thoughts of suicide, has attempted suicide, and/or has experienced suicide loss is supported across the continuum; and finally that no Service Member, Veteran or family member dies by suicide. In working towards this mission, the Colorado Governor’s Challenge will prioritize data-driven decision-making, will leverage existing infrastructure and collaborative partnerships, will work to infuse Veteran/military culture into current suicide prevention strategies, and will emphasize the support needed for local communities engaged in prevention.
  4. 4. Setting the Stage
  5. 5. Angela Wright, Policy Research Associates, Inc. SAMHSA SMVF TA Center
  6. 6. Colorado- National Collaborative El Paso County! Colorado Governor’s Challenge Suicide Prevention Commission Office of Suicide Prevention Suicide Prevention in Colorado
  7. 7. Colorado-National Collaborative is a partnership of local, state and national scientists and public health professionals working with health and social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, academic organizations and Colorado residents to identify, promote and implement successful state- and community-based strategies for suicide prevention in Colorado.
  8. 8. State Partners National Partners • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment/ Office of Suicide Prevention • Suicide Prevention Commission • Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Denver Veterans Administration Center • Governor’s Office • CO Behavioral Healthcare Council • University of CO Depression Center • University of CO Hospital • Colorado Governor’s Challenge ● Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention ● Education Development Center (Suicide Prevention Resource Center) ● American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ● Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ● Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ● National Action Alliance
  9. 9. County Partners El Paso La Plata Larimer Mesa Montezuma Pueblo
  10. 10. Agreement on Core Strategies
  11. 11. Colorado Governor’s Challenge Team Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Family Care Center- Colorado Springs Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission Sturm Center Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council Colorado Office of Behavioral Health Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic Rocky Mountain MIRECC VA - Eastern Colorado, VISN, VEO Colorado Judicial Department United Veterans Coalition Governor’s Office And more!
  12. 12. DC Academies Learning from other states and experts to refine strategies Work groups Identifying initial action plans and next steps Local leader meetings Feedback from communities and boots on the ground Colorado Governor’s Challenge
  13. 13. INITIAL PRIORITIES 1.Improving Access to Responsive Care 2. Lethal Means Safety 3. Peer Support 4. Resource Collaboration and Collection
  14. 14. Improving Access to Responsive care Phase 1- Increase care responsivity to SMVF clients by supporting military competency among Community Mental Health Centers by offering free training through existing networks, contracts, and connections. Phase 2- Expanding to other social service organizations (housing, employment, etc)
  15. 15. Lethal Means Safety Partner with the firearms community to support shared messaging for safety by: 1. Including Veterans Crisis Line on all Colorado Gun Shop Project Materials and 2. Supporting the development and dissemination of veteran-friendly firearm suicide prevention video.
  16. 16. Peer Support Phase 1-Deploying suicide prevention awareness training for community members and organizations supporting SMVF. Phase 2- Developing and supporting workforce of Veterans with lived experience serving as peer support specialists within health care organizations.
  17. 17. Resources and Partnership Collaboration Phase 1- Ensure that statewide resource listings through Colorado Crisis Services and 211 have Veteran and community- specific resources. Phase 2- Support the development of interactive, dynamic online portal.
  18. 18. El Paso County
  19. 19. Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention Data: 2005-2017 DEFINING THE PROBLEM 35 17 27 31 37 28 24 46 44 28 48 50 39 0 20 40 60 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 El Paso County Veteran Suicides Veteran Suicides Linear (Veteran Suicides) 116 75 102 74 90 35 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 65+ 55-64 45-54 35-44 25-34 20-24 El Paso County Veteran Suicide by age 2004-2017 # Suicide by age 191 Additional Demographics: Veterans who die by suicide in El Paso County are likely to be: • Male (94%) • Caucasian (85%) • Married (53%) • Over 55 Years Old (38%) • Use Firearms as a method (68%) • Have a current depressed mood (60%) and physical health problems (50%) • Have Alcohol (31%) and Opiates (15%) in their system Historical trends tell us that there is a veteran death by suicide every ten days in El Paso County
  20. 20. Access to Care Lethal Means Postvention At Risk Population s Youth Young Adults Older Adults LGBTQ SMVF Disable d El Paso County Suicide Prevention Task Force 1. Define The Problem 2. Identify Risk and Protective Factors 3. Develop and Implement Strategies 4. Ensure Widest Dissemination Connectednes s Education and Awareness Economic Stability Colorado National Collaborative El Paso County Suicide Prevention Task Force El Paso County SMVF Suicide Prevention Coalition 5. Evaluate and Refine
  21. 21. Survey Respondents: Organizational Characteristics
  22. 22. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Resources Available in El Paso County Most Resources Least Resources Access to Care Lethal Means Safety Postvention Connectedness Education and Awareness Economic Stability Peer Norm Programs Community Engagement Employment Housing Financial Security Community Education Gatekeeper Training Med. Professional Education Safe Firearm Storage Safe Medication Storage Suicide Hotspots Provide Competent Care Provider Shortage Reduce Barriers To Care Provide Bereavement Support Support for Attempt Survivors Survey Respondents: Most and Least Resources in El Paso County
  23. 23. What do you personally think is the most important topic that needs to be discussed regarding SMVF suicide in El Paso County? Barriers to strengthening protective factors for SMVF. • Stigma Associated With Seeking Care • PTSD/TBI • Reducing Stigma by providing more community forums for discussion and support • community mental health services outside of business hours. CARE Team and Crisis Intervention programs are limited in times where crisis may happen. • Access to care and stigma reduction • Access to Care Access to Care Lethal Means Safety Connectedness Education Economic Stability Postvention • Community connections • Finding veterans, reaching veterans, engaging veterans • What keeps our military community from seeking help? • How to better communicate with/engage veterans of different demographics; getting veterans to show up • Housing • Self-empowerment and self identification- a job
  24. 24. To reduce SMVF suicide in El Paso County, we need to: Access to Care Lethal Means Safety Connectedness Education Economic Stability Postvention • Have a community approach • Help them to feel supported, connected and valued • Work together more collaboratively in engaging veterans to promote community connectedness • Increase connections with support systems for the SMVF • Help with behavioral health issues • Increase access (insurance barriers, culturally competent providers, affordable care), and better understand effective approaches. • increase access to quality, specialized, and culturally competent care • Additionally, we need more providers/service options for those in mental health crisis to include peer mentor options. • Provide more access to care • Reduce barriers in place, reduce opiate/substance addiction, and continue reducing stigma • Track ALL transitioning veterans, not just those signed up for VA benefits. Lots of folks slip through the cracks. • Reduce Stigma by providing more community forums for discussion and support • . Train the general community to better understand the signs and how to help. • Find Housing
  25. 25. 1. Improving Access to Responsive Care Phase 1- Increase care responsivity to SMVF clients by supporting military competency among Community Mental Health Centers by offering free training through existing networks, contracts, and connections. Phase 2- Expanding to other social service organizations (housing, employment, etc) 2. Lethal Means Safety Partner with the firearms community to support shared messaging for safety by: - Including Veterans Crisis Line on all Colorado Gun Shop Project Materials and - Supporting the development and dissemination of veteran-friendly firearm suicide prevention video 3. Peer Support Phase 1-Deploying suicide prevention awareness training for community members and organizations supporting SMVF. Phase 2- Developing and supporting workforce of Veterans with lived experience serving as peer support specialists within health care organizations. 4. Resources and Partnership Collaboration Phase 1- Ensure that statewide resource listings through Colorado Crisis Services and 211 have Veteran and community-specific resources. Phase 2- Support the development of interactive, dynamic online portal. Small Group Discussions- Reminder of Strategies
  26. 26. Networking Break
  27. 27. Small Group Report Outs What is already happening in the community? What barriers exist? What does the community need?
  28. 28. Future Collaboration, Partners to Engage, and Touch Points
  29. 29. More questions? Sarah Brummett sarah.brummett@state.co.us THANKS!

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