Postvention — VA offers support after suicide loss

Veterans have a significantly higher suicide rate than other adults in the U.S. This means Veterans are also more likely to have known someone who took their own life. Uniting for Suicide Postvention (USPV) helps make sense of a suicide loss. The program connects survivors with resources to help them work through powerful and unique emotions specific to this type of grief.

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When COV-19 vaccine comes, VA will be ready

Planning is underway at VA to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available. VA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a phased plan based on five core ethical pillars: safety, maximizing the benefit of the vaccine, equity, fairness and transparency.

Veteran and employee safety remain our #1 priority. The plan takes into consideration a number of risk factors, including risks of acquiring infection, severe illness and death if infected, and transmitting the disease, as well as the risk to essential workers, including health care personnel. Continue reading

Trump signs landmark veterans health care bill named for SEAL Team 6 leader

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie released the following statement after President Trump signed the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, into law. 

“This legislation moves America closer to a goal that all citizens can support: increasing the local resources available to our men and women who answered the call to defend this Nation. This law will expand mental health care services at VA facilities and at the same time provide grants to make it easier for Veterans to access non-VA resources in their communities. 

“Care in the community is a critical component of our effort to end Veteran suicide. About 60 percent of the Veterans who die by suicide aren’t getting care from VA, so it’s vital we do all we can to offer intervention and care to Veterans where they live. This bill takes a strong and meaningful step in that direction.” Read more

Cocke/Jefferson County Expungement Clinic

On a beautiful Saturday in Eastern Tennessee, the University of Tennessee College of Law and Vet to Vet Tennessee partnered with three 4th Judicial District Judges, Hon. O. Duane Slone, Hon. Dennis Roach II, and Hon. Carter Moore to conduct a Community Court to help hundreds of Cocke/Jefferson county citizens with prior criminal records. The court was held at the First Baptist Church of Dandridge. This is the fourth year that UT College of Law and Vet to Vet Tennessee have sponsored an Expungement Clinic. This is the first time the team had to deal with the pandemic and with the support and guidance of the UT Nurses, we were able to conduct the court safely in person. The logistic added extra logistics and cost but the results we “Worth It”. The results are still being tabulated and we will publish information as soon as they are completed. In the meantime please click here to view the 85+ volunteers who participated in the clinic. We think this is the best clinic to date! Thank you, Prof. Joy Radice and Karla Mendez. Thank you Vet to Vet TN volunteers Sheryn Davis, Pat Junod, Dr. Emily Hager, Melvin Oggs, Randall Scott, Don Davis, and Ed Junod. The next Expungement Clinic is scheduled for March 6, 2021, in Monroe County at the First Baptist Church of Madisonville, TN.

Study: Different emotions may drive male, female Veterans to attempt suicide

A new VA study finds that men and women are harboring different thoughts in the moments before they decide to die by suicide. “Women feel personally like they are not worth anything, and men feel like the world has sort of let them down,” says the lead author, Dr. Lauren Denneson. (Photo for illustrative purposes only: ©iStock/tommaso79)

The findings appeared online in the journal Social Science & Medicine in September 2020.

Read more.

VA Supporting Women Veterans

VA Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers recently hosted a series of chats and live events that focused on VA support of women Veterans. Watch the series or browse the questions asked on Veteran business, whole health, appeals, benefits, reproductive health services, and more. Watch.

1st Public Meeting in the Robert “Bob” Hatley Monroe County VSC

On September 16, 2020, Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) hosted their first public meeting in the new Robert “Bob” Hatley Monroe County Veterans Service Center in Madisonville Tennessee.

The first event was to honor Korean War Air Force Veteran Walter Price with the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal and proclamation.  Presenting the proclamation from the Republic of Korea Patriots and Veterans Affairs Minister was Monroe County Mitch Ingram.  Presenting the medal was VTVT Vice President Randall Scott.

Also in attendance: Monroe County General Sessions and Veterans Court Judge Dwaine Thomas Mr. Price’s family, Bob’s daughter and son, his partner Mary Wolfe, Monroe County Veterans Service Officer Andy Boyd and members of VTVT.

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In person QPR Suicide Prevention training returns!

On Sunday, September 13, 2020 Vet to Vet Tennessee’s QPR Instructor trained an in-person class for the 134th Air Refueling Wing at McGhee Tyson Airbase.  This is VTVT’s first in person class since our last military training at MEPS in March 2020.

Emily Hager received the request for training from G Dean Sinclair, PhD, LICSW Director of Psychological Health 134th Air Refueling Wing.  VTVT has been a partner with the ARW since 2016 and have numerous individuals from the base in our Veterans Court, Peer Support and suicide prevention.  We are grateful to Dr. Sinclair for allowing us to teach 31 of his team.

Training and support is needed more now due to the pandemic. Please contact us at 865-336-2624 if you would like more information about our QPR Suicide Prevention programs.

Click here to view the after action report (AAR) of the training.

VTVT September 16, 2020 events

Vet to Vet Tennessee have two special events scheduled for September 16th at 1100 at Vet to Vet Tennessee’s new office located at 403 Tellico Street N, Madisonville, TN.

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The first event is to present the Republic of South Korea’s Ambassador for Peace Medal to Air Force Korean War Veteran Walter Price.  VTVT has partnered with Monroe County Veterans Service Officer Andy Boyd and The Monroe County Buzz to help us identify Korean War Veterans.  The Buzz published a front page article about VTVT’s Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal program on July 18, 2020.

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