VA caring letters trial shows mixed results

A program to help Veterans Crisis Line callers didn’t appear to reduce suicide attempts, but did up use of services.

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A program meant to help veterans who call a crisis line did not decrease the occurrence of suicide attempts, a new study has found. The program did, however, increase the use of Veterans Health Administration mental health services.

Researchers at VA Puget Sound Health Care System found that caring letters sent after a former member of the military reached out to the Veterans Crisis Line did not impact the number of suicide attempts in a random trial of more than 102,000 people. 

The mixed results underscore the importance of a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention in the veteran community, said psychologist Mark Reger, professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine and chief of psychology services at VA Puget Sound.

Access broadcast-ready soundbites with Reger and the accompanying news release in the UW Medicine Newsroom.


Tags:suicidesuicide preventionveterans

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