Sturm Center Part of Award-Winning VA Learning Collaborative Focused on Veteran Suicide Prevention
The University of Denver’s Sturm Center was selected to be a member of a pilot VA/community suicide prevention learning collaborative in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas. Other members of the collaborative were representatives of university medical and psychiatric programs, VA resource and healthcare centers, and mental health advocates from across the country. Together, this learning collaborative worked with 13 community organizations in the pilot program area who had both direct and indirect relationships with Veterans and Service Members.
Due to the diversity of participating organizations, the impact of the learning collaborative was widely felt. Over 25,000 community members and over 5,000 Veterans were impacted by the services and supports introduced by the collaborative over a 16-month period. Activities included training experiences in military/Veteran cultural competency, universal suicide prevention, and/or mental health.
Overall, nearly 85% of participating organizations reported the experience a success. One organization lead stated, “Some of these new innovations with [training] will be really helpful for new peer support members and staff. I view these as long-term wins and resources for us. They are invaluable. They give people new perspectives, tools, and hope. Hope is key. You never know what is going to save a life or a relationship, to it’s always important to keep adding to our reservoir.”
The pilot program won a national VA award for most outstanding project in VA suicide prevention and has now received additional funding for several more years. The University of Denver team has now been asked to be part of the third collaborative cohort.