VFW Post 5156 Supports Suicide Prevention, Education

On Tuesday, July 10, 2020, Monroe County Veterans of Foreign Wars Gold Star Post 5156 in Sweetwater Tennessee donates $500.00 to Vet to Vet Tennessee during a joint meeting of the two organizations. Presenting the check was post commander Wayne Grayson and to his left Monroe County Director of Schools Dr. Deanna McClendon accepted the money on behalf of Vet to Vet Tennessee, funds that will be directed towards suicide prevention efforts and scholarship opportunities for students and education. This is part of the newly developed “Worth It” program designed for middle and high schools in East Tennessee. Vet to Vet Tennessee is grateful for the support and donation not only from the VFW post but also Monroe County.

Original Member of Vet to Vet Tennessee lost on Monday

Rev. Robert (Bob) Hatley, age 78, of Madisonville, passed away 0130. Monday, April 27, 2020 at U.T. Medical Center.

Bob was a graduate of Madisonville High School. He retired from M & M Mars Company and was a member of Notchey Creek Baptist Church, Tellico Masonic Lodge # 80, Vonore O.E.S. Chapter 383, and Monroe County DAV #93. He was a Veteran of the U.S. Army, having served during the Vietnan War. He was one of the original 23 members of Legacy Peer Support Group, Secretary of Vet to Vet Tennessee and the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council, Court Coordinator and Mentor of the Monroe County Veterans Court. He loved helping the veteran’s community.

Bob’s selflessness, generosity, and dedication to others had an impact on Monroe County, Vet to Vet Tennessee, and anyone who knew him. We have been blessed in life to be in the presence of a strong male role model. Although he continued to struggle with the memories of his service in Vietnam, he neveronce lost focus on his comrades.  God blessed us knowing you brother.  Welcome Home!  We will never forget you. 

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Coronavirus: What Veterans Need to Know

Our call centers and some VA health facilities are experiencing very high numbers of calls. To help us address the most urgent needs first, we ask that you use our online tools for routine or non-urgent questions. The CDC defines COVID-19 as a new type of coronavirus. If you have a fever, a cough, and shortness of breath, call your VA medical center before going to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency room. You can also send your doctor a secure message. Contacting us first helps us protect you, medical staff, and other patients. Concerns about COVID-19 can be stressful for many people, and it’s understandable to feel anxious. Let VA help. We have answers to your questions.   Learn more

Pilot Youth Suicide Prevention Program Approved!

As of February 13, 2020, VTVT’s “Worth It” Suicide Prevention Youth Program has been unanimously approved in its entirety by the Monroe County School Board. The link to the School Board discussion is below. This is a three-phase suicide prevention program.

  1. Guidance Counselors – Guidance Counselors in every middle and high school will be trained as certified QPR Instructors as well as receive advance training for suicide screening and referral. Completed on January 6, 2020.
  2. Students – All middle and high school students will be trained as certified QPR Gatekeepers yearly. Begins March 3, 2020; to be complete by May 2020
  3. Community – Veteran Military Friendly Congregations within major cities of Monroe County will be hosting “Worth It” Suicide Prevention play with cast from the school students.  Play tentatively scheduled for May 2020.

We are extraordinarily grateful for the Monroe County Schools for accepting our pilot program to prevent suicide in youth.


We are grateful for all of your support, guidance and care.

TN Governor Bill Lee Recognizes teen suicide as a state health crisis

On February 3, 2020 TN Governor Bill Lee signed HJR 0001 “Statement of Intent or Position – Recognizes teen suicide as a health crisis in Tennessee.”  This bill was originally introduced on November 7, 2018.  In which time the rate of TN suicides surpassed the national rate according to YRBSS definitely qualifying youth suicide as a crisis.

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1st QPR Gatekeeper Instructors sponsored by VTVT 2020

The first QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Instructor class for the New Year was hosted by Director of Monroe County TN Schools Dr. DeAnna McClendon on January 6, 2020 in Madisonville TN. The class was sponsored and conducted by Vet to Vet Tennessee. The 11 graduates included 10 Monroe County School Counselors and the Suicide Prevention Committee Chair of Anderson County Schools of their Advancing Wellness And Resilience Education (AWARE) program. 

Assisting during the class was VTVT QPR Gatekeeper Instructors Dr. Emily Hager, Sheryn and Don Davis and QPR Institute Master Instructor Ed Junod. This is the first phase of VTVT’s three (3) Middle/High School QPR Suicide Prevention pilot program. VTVT is working directly with the QPR Institute’s Founder and CEO Dr. Paul Quinnett and Monroe County Schools Director of Federal Programs Lee Anne Strickland.

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New QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Program in Monroe County Schools

Vet to Vet Tennessee announced a new suicide prevention program to begin on January 6, 2020 in Monroe County Tennessee Schools.  As a result of our Trinity Health Foundation Phase II grant and the “Worth It” project, VTVT has now developed a QPR Suicide Prevention Program in two categories:

Veteran/Military Friendly Lead Congregations and Middle/High Schools.    Dr. Emily Hager, Ed Junod and Professor Paul Quinnett are working on a written format for our Worth It program and should have it completed in January 2020..

The school category was just created on December 4th after members of VTVT meet with the Director of Monroe County Schools Dr. DeAnna McClendon; 13 middle/high schools and one alternative school..  The school program we created has three phases:

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New QPR Gatekeeper Instructors sponsored by VTVT

On December 17, 2019 Vet to Vet Tennessee conducted its 6th QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Instructor class. The class was hosted by Veteran/Military Friendly Lead Congregation Concord United Methodist Church. The nine (9) graduates included nurses from Covenant Health, counselors from Pellissippi State Community College and a Fire Chief from Lenoir City.

Assisting during the class was VTVT QPR Gatekeeper Instructors Sheryn and Don Davis. The majority of the students were referrals from Eastern TN TSPN Regional Director Sarah Walsh. This brings the total QPR Gatekeeper Instructors trained and funded by VTVT to 76. We are grateful to Concord UMC Pastor Larry Trotter for his support. Next QPR Gatekeeper Instructor class is scheduled for January 6, 2020 at the Monroe County School District.