Connectedness Matters. This was the theme for the 2019 VA Mental Health Summit. The Las Vegas Department of Veterans Affairs continues to bring together key stakeholders in Veteran-centered healthcare with the goal of enhancing access to mental health services, addressing gaps in care and identifying barriers for transitioning service members into civilian life. By engaging in active dialogue, we as a community can address the mental healthcare needs of Veterans and their families. This year’s objective focused on access and suicide prevention.
The State of the State briefing on suicide rates revealed that the percentage of Nevada suicides that were identified as being a Veteran decreased in 2017 and again in 2018. Showing that the community is utilizing resources for treatment and risk management among our veteran community.
Through increased interprofessional collaborations along with new programs from the VA’s Local Recovery Team, focused training on Moral Injury and the increase in officers trained by the Las Vegas Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) from Metro Police Department we can more effectively support Veterans with active suicidal ideations. – Angela Henderson, Las Vegas Community Research Assistant