Indianapolis Indiana Update
On June 7th we had our third Community Action Team meeting where our members spoke about their work and how it may impact other member’s field of work. Speakers included Jason Murrey State-wide Suicide Prevention Coordinator and discussed the overall suicide
rate in the state of Indiana. Over the course of four years, 2015-2018, Indiana had a total number of suicides of 4,262. Of those 696 were known to be veterans. Mr. Murrey and the group talked about how the number could be greater than that. Mr. Murrey estimated that veteran suicide rates could be up to 25% greater, as stigma may contribute to under-reporting of suicides in smaller communities. In Marion County, Indianapolis, during 2015-2018 there were a total of 102 veteran suicides. When accounting for “Suicide, Homicide, and accidental”, the number increases to 233. During his presentation, we discussed different ways to reach out to families of recent deceased veterans. This included reaching out to the Indiana Funeral Directors counsel as they have direct contact with families who have lost a loved one to suicide. At the meeting, Travis Field, Suicide Prevention Coordinator at Veterans Health Administration, discussed his role and steps taken by the VA when an individual is presented to them with signs of suicidal tendencies. Our team also discussed VA medical treatment and other public/private healthcare options for veterans locally. One opportunity that we explored was how streamlining community medical treatment and VA medical treatment could support veterans seeking help. Furthermore, we are moving forward in receiving initial numbers of suicide in Marion County in the following weeks to come. We look forward to sharing these results with the community soon!
— Andrew Redd, Research Assistant
Phoenix Arizona Update
“As the last community to come on board for Operation Deep Dive, we have been working hard to align with our sister communities in the study. We have such a dense military, veteran, and family member population here in Arizona, and as such, there has been much enthusiasm across a variety of agencies and organizations to participate in this program so that we can best understand and support that community, as a part of our own! This project is building upon a decade of collaboration that started with the launch of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families in 2009, and the partnerships established through the statewide Be Connected program are some of the largest participants in the Phoenix Community Project. Our conversations have been advantageous and productive, and we are looking forward to combining our efforts toward a positive impact on the military-veteran community!” – Chessa Emmons, Phoenix