Can you believe it, we are already three months into 2019! Operation Deep Dive has officially launched the study in the new seven communities and hired their local Research Assistants.
One of our key goals this year is to identify how many veterans have died from suicide or self-harm in the last 2 to 5 years in each of our 14 communities. We will then look at the impact of less-than-honorable discharges on veteran suicide, and differences between those who received and did not receive support services from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
To date, we have records for the entire states of Florida, Minnesota, and Orange County California. On behalf of our whole team, thank you so much to the state and county officials who have made this possible. Your support is essential to the prevention and reduction of veteran suicides across the country.
We are excited to share with you an update from Orange County California:
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has graciously provided us with a list of all non-natural deaths from 2014 to 2017, which is a total of 4793 records. Our next step is to begin the process of determining how many of those individuals were veterans. Zaynah Khan, Orange County’s research assistant, has provided us with this local update:
“Orange County is an unusual place. This has truly been reflected in the challenges and successes we have seen in helping Operation Deep Dive grow here. The Community Action Team is now piecing together a map of what Orange County looks like from the point of view of a veteran in need and are continuing to move in the direction of useful action. It is inspiring to witness new insights and ideas transforming into tangible change.
The energy and motivation these leaders bring to the Community Action Team is contagious and promises to deliver success to the project. We have seen consistency in attendance of people who have been with us since the first meeting and a steady increase in members with each month that passes. Additionally, we have been lucky to partner with the centrally located Tierney Center for Veteran Services, a well-respected establishment in the veteran community.
As the research assistant for this community, I feel extremely grateful to continue to have the opportunity to learn from and work with the leaders of the veteran spaces of Orange County.”
Zaynah Khan, Orange County Research Assistant