The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are proud to announce the cities that will participate in the first group for the Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. Albuquerque, N.M.; Billings, Mont.; Richmond, Va.; Helena, Mont.; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles and Phoenix will form interagency teams to increase suicide prevention support for veterans in their communities. SAMHSA and VA identified these cities based on veteran population data, suicide prevalence rates and capacity of the cities to lead the way in this first year of the Mayor’s Challenge.
The goal of the Mayor’s Challenge is to reduce suicides among service members, veterans and their families using a public health approach to suicide prevention. The eight city teams will meet in Washington March 14-16, 2018 to develop strategic action plans to for their communities. The teams will contain members from community groups, local government, military and others. SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center will provide technical assistance to the teams.
SAMHSA and VA are committed to working with communities to bring this support to service members, veterans and their families. Along with the eight cities participating in this year’s Mayor’s Challenge, VA has committed resources to support technical assistance for an additional 20 locales.
Others interested in learning more about the Mayor’s Challenge can submit a request for information form at http://bit.do/mayorschallenge. For more information on VA’s suicide prevention campaign, visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/bethere. For information on SAMHSA’s suicide prevention efforts, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/suicide-prevention/samhsas-efforts.
Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide – and those who know a veteran in crisis – can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.