ABSTRACT

VA Health Care: Efforts Needed to Ensure Effective Use and Appropriate Staffing of Suicide Prevention Teams, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Highlights: "Compared to the general population, veterans suffer a disproportionately higher rate of suicide. VA [Department of Veterans Affairs] has stated that suicide prevention is the agency's top clinical priority. At its local medical facilities, VHA [Veterans Health Administration] employs suicide prevention teams, which include coordinators--staff with a full-time commitment to suicide prevention activities--and case managers. The Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act included a provision for GAO [Government Accountability Office] to review, among other issues, the responsibilities and workload of suicide prevention coordinators. This report examines how VHA (1) uses local suicide prevention teams, and (2) helps determine facilities' suicide prevention staffing needs. To do this work, GAO analyzed team staffing data, reviewed VHA policies, and interviewed OMHSP [Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention] officials and team staff from five medical facilities. The facilities were selected for variation in composition of suicide prevention teams, geographic location, and total number of patients, among other factors."

Report Number:
GAO-21-326
Publisher:
Date:
2021-04
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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