The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Guam funding for a new program “Together with Veterans (TWV)” a Rural Veteran Suicide Prevention Program.
TWV funding will develop suicide prevention training, resources, and materials. The project has three priority areas and strategies:
Identify service members, veterans, and their families and screen for suicide risk.
Promote connectedness and improved care transitions.
Increase lethal means and safety planning.
National statistics suggest 22 Veterans a day commit suicide due to struggles of readjustment and subsequent behavioral issues.
"One completed suicide in this community is one too many," coordinator Tania Mendiola said. "The suicide rate for Veterans on Guam and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands continues to be a major community concern."
The TWV Program committee competed the initial training and launch. Initial training involved a Steering Committee consisted of community stakeholders. The Steering Committee is 51% Veterans. There will be future meetings for the TWV to develop a needs assessment and action plan.
The TWV Community facilitator is Dr. Edward Santos the Guam Vet Center Director, together with Tania Marie Mendiola, Veteran Advocate. Ms. Mendiola was assigned the role of TWV Community Program Coordinator. TWV will extend this program to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.
For further information on the program or any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Edward Santos 1 (671) 472-7161 or Ms. Tania Marie Mendiola at 1 (671) 998-4924.