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In addition, they found that as of August the VHA had not aired a suicide prevention PSA on television or the radio in more than a year — the first time since that a gap had exceeded one month. Wilkie said in the report, every death by suicide is a tragedy. We will not relent in our efforts to connect veterans in need with lifesaving support.
Officials also said ongoing campaigns continued to show strong success in helping make veterans more aware of the Veterans Crisis Line as well as other support services. But GAO officials said more needs to be done. They also plan to unveil new tracking metrics this spring, to help evaluate what tools are working best in the suicide prevention efforts.
To contact the Veteran Crisis Line, callers can dial and select option 1 for a VA staffer. Veterans, troops or their families members can also text or visit VeteransCrisisLine. He has covered Washington, D.
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Meetings were canceled and decisions were deferred because the acting director who replaced her was frequently absent, the report said. Since , the office had been regularly airing public service announcements meant to promote gun safety and reduce the stigma around seeking help.
But the report found that as of August, none had been broadcast for more than a year.
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Thompson, now with the Cohen Veterans Network, a nonprofit group, said she was dismayed at the falloff. Outreach is one of the first ways to engage with veterans and families about ways to get help.
The suicide prevention paralysis is one of a number of recent stumbles at an agency that has seen significant turnover of experienced staff and top leadership in the last 18 months. Mistakes in managing the G. Bill program led to late or incorrect housing allowance payments for more than 80, veterans enrolled in college.