-- Develop educational materials about suicide prevention for families and community groups. VA is examining the effectiveness of support groups and educational material for the families of suicidal veterans, and producing a brochure for the families of veterans with traumatic brain injury about suicide, which will be available within 30 days.
-- Increase training for VA chaplains about the warning signs of suicide. VA offices responsible for chaplains and mental health professionals are studying ways to implement this recommendation, with a report due by Nov. 1.
-- Develop a gun-safety program for veterans with children in the home, both as a child-safety measure and a suicide prevention effort. A VA directive establishing the program is being developed, with full implementation expected during the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2008.
VA is the nation's largest provider of mental health care. More than 17,000 mental health professionals, including dedicated suicide prevention coordinators in each of VA's 153 medical centers, are available to care for veterans. The Department's mental health program this year is funded at more than $3 billion.
|SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs|
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