Back to Top Skip to main content

PREVENTS aimed at reducing Service Member and Veteran suicide

Group of airmen hugging each other Airmen grieve following a memorial service for a fellow airmen. (Photo by Tech Sgt. Teri Eicher, 134th Air Refueling Wing.)

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Mental Health Care | Warrior Care | September Toolkit | Total Force Fitness

“The second leading cause of death between ages 10 to 35 is suicide,” according to Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, executive director of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). In our nation, suicide has increased by 33% over the last 25 years across all demographics. These are challenging statistics that Warrior Care and PREVENTS are concerned about.

Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program provides our recovering service members, military caregivers, and their family/friends with the right knowledge to prevent these tragedies.

Launched in June 2020, PREVENTS focuses on a holistic public health approach to suicide prevention. PREVENTS collaborates with 10 other Federal agencies to emphasize improved overall health and well-being.

Veterans can lead this movement by setting an example to civilians, as they are one and a half times more likely to commit suicide, with women veterans being two and a half times more likely out of the Veteran population, compared to civilians.

One of the many myths about suicide is that mental illness is a risk factor. Van Dahlen explained how, “Not all risk factors are related to mental illness. It is a combination of factors and can include legal troubles, financial stress, chronic physical health, and feeling of hopelessness.” Those who attempt suicide or having suicidal thoughts are dealing with a combination of risk factors that happen either abruptly or over a long period of time.

Recovering service members face a variety of risk factors that can negatively affect their mental health and well-being, added Van Dahlen. For recovering service members transitioning into the civilian world, many have shared that they lose a feeling of purpose and disconnectedness with the Military community. These are also risk factors that can contribute to an increase in suicide rate for the Recovering Military community.

According to Van Dahlen, protective factors play a role in lowering suicidal risk factors, this includes access to appropriate health and mental health care, good physical health, belonging to a faith-based community, sense of belonging, and more. By being knowledgeable about protective factors, you can provide someone who is at risk, or yourself, with the appropriate tools and resources to help, shared Van Dahlen. “The goal (of PREVENTS) is to educate people on finding protective factors;” added Van Dahlen. “So, finding what works for each individual, or what collection of things work.”

According to Van Dahlen and the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO), one of the easiest and most effective factors for those at risk, is simply reaching out. When you take the time to reach out to your loved ones, that’s a step in a positive direction.

The PREVENTS’ REACH campaign is designed for everyone, and individuals can sign the PREVENTS Pledge to REACH. By taking the pledge, a service member is making a commitment to learn more about risk and protective factors, promote PREVENTS resources and activities, and inspiring others to take the pledge.

“We all know that suicide prevention is a national public health challenge and that everyone has a role to play,” concluded Van Dahlen.

To take the pledge, visit https://www.wearewithinreach.net/pledge/.

You also may be interested in...

Defense Suicide Prevention Office

Presentation
11/1/2016

Defense Suicide Prevention Office briefing for the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention

Decision Brief on Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care

Presentation
2/11/2015

Decision Brief on Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Physical Disability

Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Update on Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care

Presentation
11/6/2014

Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Update on Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Physical Disability | Warrior Care

Combat Theater Trauma Lessons Learned from Mililtary Operations of 2001 through 2013

Presentation
11/6/2014

Briefing about Combat Theater Trauma Lessons Learned from Military Operations of 2001 through 2013

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Advancement and Sustainment of Amputee Care

Presentation
8/11/2014

Briefing to the Defense Health Board at August 11, 2014 meeting on Advancement and Sustainment of Amputee Care.

Recommended Content:

Extremities Loss | Extremities Loss | Warrior Care

Saving Lives on the Battlefield Part II One Year Later

Presentation
8/11/2014

Saving Lives on the Battlefield Part II One Year Later presentation for August 11, 2014, DHB meeting.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Decision Brief on Combat Trauma Lessons Learned

Presentation
8/11/2014

Decision briefing at the August 11, 2014 Defense Health Board meeting on Combat Trauma Lessons Learned.

Recommended Content:

Medical Research and Development | Warrior Care | Warrior Care

Wounded Warrior Battalion East

Presentation
6/3/2014

Wounded Warrior Battalion East presentation to the Defense Health Board on June 3, 2014.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Combat Casualty Care Research Program

Presentation
6/3/2014

Combat Casualty Care Research Program Presentation to the June 3, 2015, DHB meeting.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Trauma and Injury Subcommittee Update Theater Trauma Lessons Learned Tasking

Presentation
6/3/2014

Trauma and Injury Subcommittee Update presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Extremities Loss | Physical Disability

Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Update Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care Tasking

Presentation
6/3/2014

Presentation to the Defense Health Board: Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Update Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care Tasking

Recommended Content:

Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Access to Health Care | Extremities Loss | Warrior Care

Defense Suicide Prevention

Presentation
11/18/2013

Defense Suicide Prevention briefing presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention

Overview of the Integrated Mental Health Strategy

Presentation
8/19/2013

Overview of the Integrated Mental Health Strategy presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Psychological Fitness

DoD Suicide Prevention Office

Presentation
11/27/2012

Defense Health Board briefing on DoD Suicide Prevention Office

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention

Update on DoD Mental Health Policies and Programs

Presentation
11/27/2012

Defense Health Board Update on DoD Mental Health Policies and Programs

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.