Operation Deep Dive reached a major milestone in the Twin Cities this October. We conducted our first interview, using the Sociocultural Death Investigation (SDI) tool. The goal of the SDI tool is to investigate the last year of a lost veteran’s life in order to understand how community context and engagement may play a role in veteran suicide. For each veteran lost to suicide or self-harm, our study aims to interview two to four loved ones of the veteran who has died in order to get a better understanding of their life before they died. Speaking to family members, friends, and coworkers of veterans lost helps us to gain a better understanding of how the community engages with veterans and where we can improve support. Our hope is to use the collective observations of survivors of suicide loss to equip organizations with actionable steps to more effectively support veterans in the Twin Cities. Additionally, in November, we had the opportunity to meet with coalition partners of the VA to discuss what is needed for these coalitions and partnerships with the VA’s Executive Director of Suicide Prevention, Dr. Matt Miller.
– Christine Yost, Twin Cities Research Assistant