Department of Defense outlines suicide prevention strategy

NASHVILLE, TN - The Department of Defense is talking about ways to prevent suicide in the active-duty and veteran populations.

The 2019 Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Conference got underway Tuesday in Nashville, Tennessee.

Beginning the year, the Defense Department plans to publish an annual suicide report. The first will cover the 2018 calendar year, and include service members as well as family members.

Dr. Karen Orvis, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, said she is "disheartened that the trends are not going in the right direction for our military community."

The military community is also looking at some of the best practices from the civilian world. The most effective are starting as pilot programs that could later be expanded.

The Department of Defense is also collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Homeland Security to focus on high-risk veterans who are transitioning out of active-duty service.

If you or someone you know is facing difficulty or suicidal thoughts, there is 24/7 help available by calling 1-800-273-8255. 

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