SAHMSA: Topics in the News

SAMHSA Substance use

Natural Disaster Response

In response to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the wildfires along the west coast, SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center has collated the following disaster resources to assist affected individuals and responders:

VA’s Disaster Preparedness Toolkit: The Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a new toolkit, the Disaster Preparedness to Promote Community Resilience: Information and Tools for Homeless Service Providers and Disaster Professionals. The toolkit provides guidance for identifying and collaborating with partners to address disaster response and recovery needs of homeless individuals. It outlines strategies to engage in preparedness and minimize service disruption from a disaster.

SAMHSA’s Disaster Kit: This toolkit arms disaster recovery workers with materials that aid in responding effectively to the general public during and after a disaster and in dealing with workplace stress.

Disaster Behavioral Health Preparedness and Response Resources: Use this resource guide to help individuals and communities cope with disaster.

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress: Use this resource to learn tips for preventing and managing stress when dealing with the effects of trauma.
Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: This tip sheet contains information about grief, the grieving process, and what happens when the process is interrupted and complicated or traumatic grief occurs.

Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.

Health Services Research & Development Webinar: Suicide Prevention in Women Veterans: Risk and Resiliency Factors

September 25, 2017; 1:00-2:00 p.m.

This cyberseminar will provide an overview of available data and findings that support the need to better understand female veteran suicide risk and describe what is currently known regarding risk and resilience among women veterans. A more detailed discussion will focus on the association between sexual trauma and suicide and suicidal behavior among women veterans, a consistent finding across recent studies. Dr. Jennifer Strauss, the National Women’s Mental Health Program Manager for the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, will join the call as a discussant and be available for Q&A.

VA Releases Veteran Suicide Statistics by State

VA has released findings from its analysis of veteran suicide data for 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The release is part of VA’s comprehensive examination of more than 55 million records, from 1979 to 2014, which will be used to develop and evaluate suicide prevention programs across every state. The new data include veteran suicide rates and overall suicide rates by state, age group, and gender and list the most common suicide methods.

Suicide Prevention Month: Timely Actions Can Save People’s Lives

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and with it comes greater awareness that it’s possible there are friends, comrades, and family members who may be considering that irreversible decision. Someone who is considering suicide may display a number of behavioral indicators, according to officials with the Employee Assistance Program at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart. Some are direct, they said, while others are subtle enough to be missed until it is too late.

Veterans Crisis Line to Open Third Call Center in Topeka, Kansas

VA announced it is opening a Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) call center in Topeka, Kansas, the third such center nationwide, and expects to hire 100 employees to staff the center, located on the campus of VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System. VCL currently operates two centers in Canandaigua, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia. The new call center, expected to open this fall, will give VCL the additional capacity as VA expands the “automatic transfer” function, Press 7, to its Community Based Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers.

Are You Eligible for More VA Benefits? New Web Matrix Explains Primary, Derivative Benefits
At the Veterans Benefits Administration, we often come in contact with people who ask, What are my benefits? What am I eligible for? Or, I receive X benefit, but what other benefits can I use? Those are hard questions to answer because in many cases, it depends. VA benefits eligibility is based on your character of discharge. And some benefits connections are equally hard to explain without further personal information. But some veterans become eligible for additional benefits based on a number of different situations. The additional benefits that open up from a given situation is what we call “derivative” benefits.

View the new Derivative-Benefits Eligibility Matrix web tool.

Identify, Intervene: Help Your Loved One with Traumatic Brain Injury

This article is the second in a three-part series from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) on helping the loved ones of service members identify the signs of brain injury and mental health issues. It’s not always the injured person who notices that something is “off.” In fact, it’s often a spouse or family member who recognizes the signs that something’s wrong. Many times, they are also the first to speak up. That was the case when Army Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Lee’s wife noticed her husband’s abnormal symptoms and took the risk to get him help.

Acts of Violence, Terrorism, or War: Triggers for Veterans

Veterans, like other people, respond to traumatic events in a number of ways. They may feel concern, anger, fear, or helplessness. These are all typical responses to a violent, malicious, or traumatic event. However, research shows that people who have been through trauma, loss, or hardship in the past may be even more likely than others to be affected by new, potentially traumatic events.

Q&A: Expert Shares How VA Uses Academic Detailing to Reduce Opioid Abuse

We recently sat down with Dr. Melissa Christopher, VA national director of Academic Detailing Services, to discuss the work her team does to combat the national opioid crisis. Dr. Christopher, also a pharmacist, spoke more on the topic earlier this week during the 2017 DCoE Summit as a part of the Approaches to Opioid Use Disorder: Getting Evidence-Based Practices to the Field in Federal Health Care and Prevention panel.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email