A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH TO VETERAN SUICIDE
Suicide is not a veteran problem, it’s a national problem; it’s also a public health problem. Like other public health problems…motor vehicle accidents, heart disease, food safety, healthcare associated infections…it can be prevented if we take a public health approach to the problem. That means that the responsibility for “solving the problem of veteran suicide” does not belong to any one organization or any single group of people. It means that the responsibility belongs to all of us.
The Center for Disease Control has provided a framework based on the public health model that has shown to have an impact on veteran suicides. This is a publication that provides policy recommendations, programs, and practices that have been proven to prevent suicide, in some cases, and reduce the risk of suicide in other cases. Similarly, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide advocates a public health approach for addressing suicide.