Veteran Suicide Prevention Evaluation: Demonstration Project Virtual Meeting

Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans overall, and has been rising in nearly every state since 1999. Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. In fact, many people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Other problems often contribute to suicide, such as those related to relationships, substance use, physical health, and job, money, legal or housing stress. Veterans are a particularly vulnerable population. According to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate was 1.5 times higher for veterans compared to non‐veterans in 2016. In addition, the rate of suicide increased substantially among younger veterans aged 18‐34 years old from 2015‐2016, but remained about the same in other age groups during that same time period. There was also a large increase in the rate of suicide among veterans who were not in Veteran Health Administration care compared to those that were from 2005–2016. The good news is that suicide prevention is possible. Suicide is rarely caused by any single factor, which means there are multiple pathways for prevention.

To help address the challenge of veterans’ suicide, the CDC Foundation is working in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a project to build evaluation capacity among veteran-serving organizations implementing programs that support an upstream, public health approach to veteran suicide prevention. Learn more.

Awardees
Through this CDC Foundation project, seven veteran-serving organizations (VSOs) were awarded grants to develop and implement an evaluation plan and build their capacity for ongoing program evaluation. The evaluation strategies were based on CDC's Evaluation Framework for programs utilizing the Community Integration Model or Connectedness Model. The seven organizations selected for the project this year are: 

Meeting Purpose
The meeting will provide an overview of the project and each participating organization will present on successes and lessons learned. The meeting is designed to increase linkages among stakeholders and create opportunity for networking, knowledge transfer and strategic partnership building.

Meeting Objectives

  • Increase understanding of the work and experiences of grantee Veteran Serving Organizations (VSOs).
  • Generate interest specifically in the work of the VSOs, and generally in the integration of evaluation into suicide prevention efforts.
  • Facilitate deeper connections between the VSOs and a variety of suicide prevention stakeholders.

Meeting Details
Date:     June 17, 2020
Time:    12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT
Meeting Agenda

Please find the presentation and a link to each of the veteran serving organization grantees’ websites here.

For more information, please contact Lola Oguntomilade with the CDC Foundation at vspevaluation@cdcfoundation.org.