ln March, AMVETS presented its Silver Helmet Award to Dr. Megan McCarthy, deputy director for VA’s Suicide Prevention Program. McCarthy received the inaugural Riders Guardian Award in recognition of her work in educating mental health professionals about topics relevant to service members and Veterans, including firearms safety.
“I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of all VA staff members, especially the suicide prevention coordinators, who work tirelessly every day to save Veteran lives,” McCarthy said as she accepted the award. “I’m especially honored to receive the award in anticipation of the work that lies before us — work that we will do together, because VA can’t do it alone, and suicide prevention is everyone’s business.”
McCarthy is a firm believer that collaboration and teamwork drive VA’s suicide prevention efforts — both within VA and with partners like AMVETS. Every day, VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention staff members, clinicians, suicide prevention coordinators, Veterans Crisis Line responders and countless others work together to make a difference in Veterans’ lives.
The AMVETS Silver Helmet Award‚ a silver replica of the World War II GI helmet‚ is one of the most prestigious awards given by Veterans service organizations and is known by some as the “Veteran’s Oscar.” The award recognizes excellence and outstanding accomplishment in the fields of Americanism, defense, rehabilitation and congressional and civil service.
About the author: Dr. Keita Franklin is detailed to VA from the Defense Suicide Prevention Office. She is responsible for policy and oversight for the department’s suicide prevention programs.