212927 Suicide among US veterans: Need for increased and collaborative community intervention, education, and awareness

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:50 PM

Scott Thomas Williams, Vice President , Men's Health Network, Washington, DC
In light of the high incidence of physical and mental disabilities among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, it is important to examine the risk of suicide among veterans in the general population. Recent studies have shown that veterans are twice as likely as non-veterans to complete suicide and more active-duty soldiers are now taking their own lives than are being killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This presentation will provide attendees with an overview of recent studies on veterans and suicide as well as current programs, outreach, and initiatives related to the issue. The importance of recognizing the impact of war on servicemen/women and their families, and the need for ongoing support from the wider community, will be discussed. The presentation will address existing communication channels and vehicles and will draw relevant parallels to general population messaging, education, and awareness.

Learning Objectives:
* Describe mortality rates of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans in comparison to the non-veteran population. * Formulate the need for immediate and comprehensive health care interventions for post-deployment veterans. * Articulate the need for more in-depth research to follow up with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ health care outcomes following discharge and to generate more data to better address suicide prevention efforts among veterans.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Professional Publications/Affiliations: • Peer Reviewer and Contributing Author – American Journal of Men’s Health (SAGE Publication) • Williams, S. T., & Bruno, A (2007). Worksite wellness programs: What is working. American Journal of Men’s Health, 1 (Number 2), 154-156. • Williams, S. T. (2007). The value of prevention for American men and their families. American Journal of Men’s Health, 1 (Number 3), 228-229. • Williams, S.T. & Fairfax, S (2007). Smoking as a Man’s Issue: Making the Case. American Journal of Men’s Health, (in print). Relevant Speaking Engagements: • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – “Prevention and Men’s Health” (September 2007) • Massachusetts Medical Society – “The Politics of Men’s Health” (May 2007) • World Congress on Men’s Health – “The Politics of Men’s Health” (September 2005 & 2007, Vienna, Austria) • Winnebago Tribe/Indian Health Service – “Prevention for Men and Their Families” (June 2007) • State Medicaid Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committees (New York/Virginia) – “ED and co-morbidities” (Oct. 2006) • United States Senate – “Prostate Cancer Awareness and Education Efforts within Federal Government”(June 2005) • State Symposia on Men’s Health (Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina) – “Men’s Health Landscape 2006-2007”. Poster Presentation at 136th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition (Oct. 2008) - "State Public Health Department access to care, health information, and education outreach to families and diverse communities: A national phone and direct mail survey"
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.