246976 An emergency department based brief intervention for veterans at risk for suicide

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kerry L. Knox, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Reducing deaths from Veteran suicide and decreasing the burden on individuals and families due to suicidal behavior in Veterans is a public health problem both for Veterans who receive their care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and for those who receive services in community settings. Emergency Departments (ED) frequently function as the primary or sole point of contact with the health care system for suicidal individuals. Therefore, EDs represent an important venue in which to identify and treat Veterans who are at high risk for suicide.

In response to a priority recommendation from a Blue Ribbon Panel on Veteran Suicide in 2008 VA leadership called for development and implementation of an ED-based intervention for suicidal Veterans. We describe the design and implementation of an innovative brief behavioral intervention for suicidal Veterans who seek care in VA EDs. This clinical demonstration project is known as the Suicide Assessment and Follow-up Engagement: Veteran Emergency Treatment Project (SAFE VET). This initiative is designed to reduce deaths from suicide as well as mitigate suicidal behaviors in Veterans through a Veteran-focused, clinical safety plan intervention conducted in the ED, and intensive outreach protocol following discharge from the ED. T he SAFE VET project was evaluated using health services data to determine engagement with care following the intervention. This brief behavioral intervention is likely to be transferable to a wide variety of VA and non-VA settings, including community Emergency Departments and urgent care centers.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
This is an abstract linked to Abstract # 246804 as part of one session.

Keywords: Suicide, Clinical Prevention Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research in military and Veteran populations for over a decade. I am the Director of the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention in the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am the Project Director for this study.
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.