DoD, VA to Hold Biennial Suicide Prevention Conference

July 31, 2017 | BY Defense Suicide Prevention Office

The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs will conduct their biennial suicide prevention conference, Aug. 1-3, in Denver.

DoD and VA collaborate to host the conference, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts across both departments. This is the only suicide prevention conference that specifically addresses suicide in military and veteran populations, at a national level.

This year's conference theme, "#BeThere - It Takes a Community," is consistent with DoD and VA methodologies, which require a multipronged strategy for prevention, including media messaging, nonmedical interventions, mental health interventions, training for gatekeepers, peer-to-peer support, troop and family member training, and leadership engagement. DoD and VA will focus on a number of topics during the conference to include the importance of a comprehensive public heath approach to suicide prevention.

"We are thrilled to host the conference this year and continue our close collaboration with our partners in the VA. We recognize there is no wrong door when it comes to getting help. Peers, mental health providers, line leaders, federal and nonfederal partners, and chaplains inside and outside our military gates -- everyone can offer hope and ensure that service members and veterans receive the assistance they may need." said Keita Franklin, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office.

About the DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference

This conference brings together experts from a variety of disciplines for cross-training and pollination of research findings, clinical pathways, and empirical experience that cannot be gained through other means. More than 1,000 participants from across the country will have the opportunity to share their expertise and learn about the latest research, new tools, and materials, training, and activities among a wide range of community groups and leaders in the field of suicide prevention.