Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Suicide Prevention Discussion Panel
The Providence VA Medical Center hosted its Veteran Suicide Prevention Discussion Panel Jan. 24, which was attended by Veterans, congressional staff, state government officials, veteran service organization and other nonprofit representatives, VA clinicians and other VA staff.
Panel members Dr. Nathan Stein, VA psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Barredo, VA research health scientist, Jeanne Smith, Providence VAMC suicide prevention coordinator, and Jeffrey Hill, Rhode Island Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program manager, discussed ways VA can work with the community to help prevent Veteran suicide.
An average of 20 Veterans die by suicide each day, but 14 of those have not received recent VA care.
"We want to enroll as many at-risk Veterans as possible, but we also want to equip communities to help Veterans get the right care, wherever they need it," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "While VA care has proven to be effective, Veterans spend most of their time out in the community."
The Providence VAMC recently increased suicide prevention staff, and the team’s participation in community events. Organizations interested in inviting them to participate in an event should call 401-273-7100, extension 2154.
The Mental Health Service at the Providence VAMC provides mental health care for Veterans at the Providence facility and at clinics in Middletown, R.I., and New Bedford and Hyannis, Mass. The Providence VAMC Emergency Department is open 24/7 for Veterans with urgent mental health care needs outside of regular business hours. Veterans in crisis and their loved ones can always call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.