Crisis Intercept Mapping for Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) Suicide Prevention

Effective crisis care for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF) requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Suicide Data Report 2005-2016 (PDF | 673 KB), more than half of military veterans do not receive health care through the VA system and instead seek care in community settings. Because suicide risk increases during the time period surrounding an episode of acute care, continuing contact through entire episodes of care is needed. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its SMVF Technical Assistance (TA) Center at Policy Research Associates, Inc. designed and developed the Crisis Intercept Mapping process for SMVF Suicide Prevention to help communities strengthen the delivery of evidence-based suicide prevention policies and practices during this time of increased risk.

Crisis Mapping TA Objectives

  • Assess and improve community crisis care systems and services
  • Strengthen partnerships among military and civilian community stakeholders
  • Develop a tailored crisis intercept map for your community hand-in-hand with an action plan to improve crisis care services
  • Develop interagency protocols for crisis care coordination
  • Implement best practices in SMVF suicide prevention

With the guidance of an expert facilitator and mapping tools, interagency teams create a visual map of their local crisis systems on which they identify resources, gaps, and opportunities for implementing best practices at each intercept point. They receive TA to apply best practices in crisis care including universal screening, safety planning, lethal means safety, and promoting connectedness including remaining in contact with veterans at risk throughout a crisis. Once participants have developed a map and learned about key best practices, participants engage in developing an implementation plan to improve crisis services for SMVF in their local community.

The Crisis Intercept Map for SMVF Suicide Prevention

The SMVF Crisis Intercept Map for Suicide Prevention is a tool that helps community stakeholders visualize how at-risk SMVF flow through the crisis care system. As identified on the map, within a community crisis system, there are four key “intercept points” that provide opportunities for diverting at-risk SMVF to appropriate and effective prevention and support services.

  1. First Contact
  2. Acute Care
  3. Care Transitions
  4. Ongoing Treatment and Recovery Support
Last Updated: 03/05/2020