Annual DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference

Back to Basics: Enhancing the Well-Being of our Service Members, Veterans and their Families

The services and the VA have found that a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention, which includes leadership, peer involvement and appropriate clinical care when needed, are vital to success. ‘Back to Basics’ emphasizes the value of and appreciation for good order, disciplined practices, strong clinical skills and service accountability. By reinforcing the basic skills in suicide prevention training, leaders at all levels and in multiple settings can better support the force and enhance the quality of life for service members, veterans and their families.

Conference Dates and Location:

June 20 – 22, 2012
Renaissance Hotel
999 Ninth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20001
(Pre-Conference/Training Event: June 19)

On behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) it is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the 2012 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference website. The theme for this year’s conference is “Back to Basics: Enhancing the Well-Being of our Service Members, Veterans and their Families.” The annual conference is being held June 20-22, 2012, in Washington, D.C. at the Renaissance Hotel.

Every warrior and veteran death by suicide is a tragic outcome and regardless of the numbers or rates, one suicide is too many. Eliminating suicide among our warriors and veterans is our ultimate goal. This year’s conference is designed to reinforce core skills for suicide prevention training so that leaders at all levels and in multiple settings can better support the force and enhance the quality of life for service members, veterans, family members and DoD civilians. This year's conference will have three tracks focused on core skills in suicide prevention training: (1) clinical; (2) research; and (3) practical application.

In addition to the regular conference schedule, several exciting pre-conference workshops are scheduled for June 19, 2012.

We will continuously update this website with new conference materials so please visit often. We look forward to seeing you in June!

Paul S. Hammer
Director, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

Janet E. Kemp, RN, PhD
National Mental Health Program Director, Suicide Prevention
VA Office of Mental Health Services


Download the Conference Flyer

Conference Objectives

  • Objective 1: Engage in a variety of educational opportunities focused on the current state of empirically supported research, clinical practice and prevention programs on the basics of suicidology for service members, veterans and families.
  • Objective 2: Apply evidence-based or informed approaches in suicidology to prevention, research and clinical practice within and across DoD and VA communities.
  • Objective 3: Describe the current state of prevention approaches and practical applications in suicide programs within and across DoD and VA communities.
  • Objective 4: Identify opportunities to enhance and incorporate suicide prevention and postvention strategies for service member and veteran populations by accessing resources available from caregiver and family organizations, community and faith-based organizations, educational institutions, professional societies or other sources.
  • Objective 5: Identify and recommend strategies for increasing attention to and resources for suicide research, prevention and treatment for service member and veteran populations.

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This page was last updated on: February 15, 2017.