QPR Gatekeeper Instructor Class of 2021!

Despite all the shifts and barriers brought about by COVID-19, Vet to Vet Tennessee consistently provided support to the East Tennessee Region Veterans. Recently, VTVT’s Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Master Instructor Ed Junod conducted the first in-person QPR Instructor training of 2021. QPR Institute through Brian Quinnett provided us with the first 2021 updates to the presentation slides. We trained six QPR Instructors that are now qualified to educate the East Region on signs and symptoms of suicide, different techniques to asking about suicide, and referring to local resources. VTVT generously donated five scholarships (valued at $500) to various organizations for trainings. We also provided a continental breakfast and catered lunch. Finally, we presented each graduate with an Instructor certificate, VTVT challenge coin, and “Worth It” t-shirt. VTVT in partnership with Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) are focused on blanketing the East Region in suicide prevention trainings.

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QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Instructor In Person Class

Vet to Vet Tennessee will be conducting their first in person QPR Gatekeeper Instructor class on June 11, 2021 at the new Robert “Bob” Hatley Veterans Service Center in Madisonville Tennessee. Vet to Vet Tennessee has provided 8 scholarships for the upcoming class. We do not have any other scholarships for this class, however, if you or your organization want to attend the cost of the class, certification and lunch is $495.00.

Becoming a certified trainer of QPR’s industry-leading approach to suicide prevention is an excellent way for individuals and organizations to help empower their communities to effectively intervene on behalf of suicidal and in-crisis people.

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VA suicide prevention tool puts lifesaving information in R.E.A.C.H

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a mobile app, March 18, that offers step-by-step guidance for those who are trying to support someone they care about and for those who are concerned about their own emotional wellbeing. 

Developed by the PREVENTS Office, the How We R.E.A.C.H. Coaching Tool includes five actions to take when REACHing out to someone in need or when you are REACHing out for help for yourself. It provides additional resource information and suggested language to use when starting what are often very difficult conversations. 

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Experiencing Homelessness? The PATH program may be able to help!

The Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) Program at the Helen Ross McNabb Center works to assist individuals in the community who are homeless or in immediate danger of losing housing.  The program specifically focuses on those homeless individuals that suffer from some type of mental health diagnosis, or report or exhibit possible symptoms of a mental health illness. This can include individuals who may suffer from Depression, an Anxiety disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or any number of other persistent mental health disorders.  The primary end goals of the PATH Program are to identify and outreach to these individuals in the community, and to assist qualifying individuals with obtaining housing, as well as mainstream mental health services.

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Governor Bill Lee sends a video message during the Robert “Bob” Hatley Veterans Service Center dedication

Today Monroe County Mayor Mitch Ingram signed a proclamation naming the Monroe County Veterans Service Center in honor of Bob Hatley.

Governor promised to attend, but just like so many others, were unable due to the virus. However, Governor Lee sent County Mayor Mitch Ingram a video message. Here is the link to Governor Lee’s video message https://1drv.ms/v/s!ArYmL3AleWJygfJphKAYIRz3tCAMAQ?e=NdnMZS

Mayor Ingram was streaming live the celebration. Here is the link to the video:

Thank you to those of you who were able to attended today. The day was sad and exciting but one thing was for sure, we were all thankful we knew Bob. In the next few days we will publish a post on our website with more information about the dedication.

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.