Wounded Warrior Project to Share Innovative Suicide Prevention Initiatives at 2024 VA/DoD Conference

PR Newswire
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 3:45pm UTC

Wounded Warrior Project to Share Innovative Suicide Prevention Initiatives at 2024 VA/DoD Conference

PR Newswire

Experts discuss bridging gaps in rural access to care, social determinants of health for female veterans.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) will share its innovative approaches to addressing suicide risk factors at the nation's top conference dedicated to suicide prevention among military personnel and veterans.

The 2024 VA/DoD Suicide Prevention Conference is hosted by the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense. This year's conference theme is Reimagining Suicide Prevention: Evolving and Innovating to Meet Diverse Needs

"Wounded Warrior Project is committed to reducing veteran suicide," said Jennifer Silva, chief program officer at WWP™. "We look forward to sharing our novel approaches and collaborative models and working with the military and veterans community to scale them and save more lives."

Reducing Service member Suicide in Alaska
WWP warriors surveyed* by WWP in rural areas were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts in the past 12 months than those living in urban areas. Rates are even higher among warriors living in Alaska, where close to 1 in 3 surveyed warriors said they had suicidal thoughts in the past year.

WWP and Army officials will share how adventure-based learning and evidence-based interventions are helping to reduce suicides within U.S. Army Alaska. The base reduced suicides from 17 in 2021 to four in 2023. U.S. Army psychologist Capt. Hannah Martinez, U.S. Army chaplain Maj. John McDougall, and Meghan Louk, Project Odyssey® manager at WWP, will explain how WWP trained Army chaplains to intervene: Innovating Suicide Prevention in Alaska: US Army's Partnership with Wounded Warrior Project for a Community-Centered, Adventure-Based Approach to Emotional Regulation and Coping Strategies.

Addressing Suicide Risk Factors for Women Warriors
"Women are breaking down barriers in service to our country as they become the fastest-growing population among military service members and veterans. We know they also experience unique challenges while active duty and after service that can heighten their risk for suicidal thoughts," said Lindsey Gray, WWP senior suicide prevention specialist.

WWP's 2023 Women Warrior Report shows rates of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide are higher among WWP women warriors than male warriors. Women warriors are also more likely to experience barriers to care than male warriors.

Gray will lead an interactive discussion exploring the relationship between social determinants and suicidal thoughts among women warriors in a panel titled, Post-9/11 Female Veterans: Social Determinants of Health and Suicide Thoughts and Behavior. The discussion will explore WWP research with the personal stories of veterans offering candid insights from their lived experiences.

The 2024 VA/DoD Suicide Prevention Conference is July 16-18 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.

*Source: 2022 Warrior Survey, conducted between June 15 and Aug. 24, 2022.

About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more about Wounded Warrior Project.


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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project