7.13 Boston conference focuses on preventing suicides by veterans through community services, The Washington Post, Mar. 15, 2011
At the third annual suicide prevention conference sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the theme was “All the Way Home.” Military personnel, suicide prevention experts, clinicians and others who attended the conference focused on ways to support active duty personnel and veterans. According to VA suicide prevention program director Dr. Janet Kemp, services provided through local agencies are an important complement to those provided through the DOD and VA. “We’ve recognized that we can’t do it alone,” said Kemp. “It’s like the ‘it takes a village’ concept. It takes a nation to deal with the suicide problem.” At the conference, VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould announced the re-branding of the National Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline, which will be called the Veterans Crisis Line. Gould also discussed the VA’s use of social media to reach out veterans, including a soon-to-be-released downloadable application that veterans can use to measure their stress levels. Based on the levels of various emotions that users report, the app will make suggestions such as calling a friend, seeking mental health services, or calling 911 for a crisis situation.
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