On eve of joint conference in August, DOD and VA issue call for strategies to prevent suicide

March 29 is deadline for abstracts to address critical issue affecting military and Veteran communities


Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that they have again joined forces to host a biannual conference that will address suicide within the military and Veteran communities.

Ahead of the 2019 VA/DoD Suicide Prevention Conference, scheduled Aug. 26-29, the departments are seeking abstracts for presentations, which must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (EST) March 29 at https://whova.com/web/vspc_201908/.

“Suicide is a national public health concern,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “It’s critical that everyone work collectively to develop impactful solutions to suicide risk that meet the needs of America’s service members and Veterans. This conference is a chance for subject matter experts from across the country to come together and share comprehensive strategies to prevent suicide nationwide.”

The conference is guided by the National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide and the Department of Defense Strategy for Suicide Prevention, which apply the holistic public health approach to reducing suicide rates among service members and Veterans. This year’s conference theme — Many Roles. One Mission. — emphasizes the impact that individuals and communities can have in preventing suicide. VA and the DoD invite researchers, clinicians and community, nonprofit and business leaders from multiple sectors to submit abstracts for inclusion in the conference program.

The conference location will be announced at a future date.

To learn more about the efforts of VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, visit https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can contact 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, send a text message to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

Reporters covering this issue are strongly encouraged to visit www.reportingonsuicide.org for important guidance on how to safely communicate about suicide.


Media Relations

The Office of Media Relations serves as the interface with news media representatives from newspapers and electronic media for the Department. OMR arranges interviews, provides press releases and answers media queries.


  1. Http://Www.Baylinkferry.Com    

    This is really helpful, thanks.

  2. Steven Eckert    

    My quality of care at the VA hospital has been lacking, I find it third rate.
    Many Vietnam veterans I know have so much anger at the VA they wouldn’t step foot in a VA clinic or hospital.
    Hopefully President Trump will privatize the VA.

  3. Mark Powell    

    So sorry to hear about your friend and are fellow Air Force brother. But your comment is so true! I’m running around with a bulging disk in my back. Between the pain from that and the previous 9 back operations I’ve had I’m headed down that road. Because I do not want to have operation number 10 the only thing I get for pain is aspirin and gapapentin. I scream out for help and it’s not there!!

  4. Tim    

    I think it is ironic that the VA claims to care about veteran suicide when the VA is a major contributor to veteran suicides. I give an example…….. my best friend (retired/disabled) from the Air Force committed suicide recently. He was prescribed an opiod for many years that was working fine for his pain then the VA knee jerk reaction from the VA is to stop a prescription that was working fine and not replace it with a suitable prescription. He fought the pain for 3 or 4 years but could not take the pain any longer so February 15, 2019 he committed suicide so VA claiming to care about veterans is a lie.

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