I just finished reading the TIME piece on suicides among troops & veterans and was struck by what was missing: any reference to the most successful military suicide prevention program in the nation, Vets4Warriors (or 1-855-VET-TALK). The original program, Vet2Vet, went live in 2006 and was focused on just the New Jersey Guard & Reserve. The program has subsequently gone national for the Guard.
Here’s the key stat: since the program was launched, no servicemember who has used it has taken his or her life. This program is free, confidential, available 24/7, and features peer counselors who are themselves veterans. In other words, it takes exactly the opposite approach of DoD as described by Thompson & Gibbs in their piece. Think there’s a connection?