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November 12, 2021

New Plan Announced to end Veteran and Military Suicide

On November 2, the Biden-Harris administration announced a series of executive actions and goals to combat military and veteran suicide. The latest VA statistics available provide that about 17 veterans died by suicide each day in 2019. Despite significant financial investments from Congress and public pledges by the last three presidential administrations to make military and veteran suicide prevention a top priority, the problem persists.  In a strategy document titled “Reducing Military and Veteran Suicide: Advancing a Comprehensive, Cross-Sector, Evidence-Informed Approach,” President Biden stated that what we need now is “a comprehensive, cross-sector, national effort – a public health strategy that unites us around a common mission to reduce military and veteran suicide, and lays out the steps to achieve it.” The key components of the plan include (1) improving lethal means safety; (2) enhancing crisis care and facilitating care transitions; (3) increasing access to and delivery of effective care; (4) addressing upstream risk and protective factors; and (5) increasing research coordination, data sharing, and evaluation efforts. ”