WASHINGTON, DC – March 17, 2016 – The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) (www.dvnf.org) is praising new efforts to address veteran suicide prevention by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). An average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day, and DVNF urges that continued attention and awareness be paid to this major problem.
The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced new steps to continue the fight to end veteran suicide. The news came after the VA’s summit “Preventing Veteran Suicide – A Call to Action.” Among the many new efforts to reduce suicide in veterans, some included:
- Increased mental health screening via regional tele-mental health hubs
- Enhanced work with the Department of Defense to help veterans in transition
- Launching a new study on the impacts of deployment and combat on veterans
- Using predictive modeling to help increase early intervention for at-risk veterans
“It’s disheartening that so many veterans find it so hard to reach out and ask for help when they are in crisis,” said DVNF CEO, Joseph VanFonda (USMC SgtMaj Ret.). “While the VA’s new efforts are certainly warranted, the responsibility also lies within us as a society to help raise awareness and reach out to veterans who feel there is no other way out.”
DVNF is calling on everybody to do their part to help spread awareness about the epidemic of veteran suicide and to help veterans recognize the resources that are available to them, including the Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1).
In 2015, Disabled Veterans National Foundation funded 34 different programs and initiatives, most of which were geared in some way towards addressing veterans’ mental health. The foundation’s next round of grant funding will be announced at the end of April, and will also be focused on the mental and physical health of veterans.
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The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.
We achieve this mission by:
- Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
- Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of DVNF.
- Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources.
- Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community, and educating the public accordingly.