New Collaboration Focuses on Reducing High Veterans Suicide Rate



May 21 – Carbon County is home to about 8% of Pennsylvania veterans, but the county also has the highest suicide rate among Commonwealth veterans.

A new collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Carbon County Veterans Office aims to reduce this startling suicide statistic to zero.

Both partners have adopted the Together with Veterans model, which requires an action plan to address suicide prevention among veterans. Together With Veterans is a community-based suicide prevention program that brings together rural veterans and community organizations.

Key elements of the plan are identification of military personnel, veterans and family members and screening for suicide risk; promote connectivity and improve care transitions; and reducing access to deadly suicide methods and improving safety planning.

“Carbon County has a high rate of veteran suicide, so adopting the TWV model is a great way to structure a strategy that will address this concerning issue,” said Joel Mutschler, director of the DMVA Bureau of Veterans Programs, Initiatives, Reintegration, and Outreach. . “Carbon County is focused and committed to helping veterans in crisis, which makes the county an ideal community partner.”

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