VA marks Suicide Prevention Month in September with ‘Be There’ campaign

Initiative urges communities to support at-risk Veterans through simple actions

WASHINGTON — To mark Suicide Prevention Month this September, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is shining a light on effective ways to prevent Veteran suicide with its Be There campaign. 

The campaign highlights the risk factors and warning signs for suicide, provides information about VA mental health and suicide prevention resources, and helps individuals and organizations start the conversation around Veteran mental health in their communities.

“In our various communities, everyone is in a position to make a difference for a Veteran who may be at risk for suicide,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, who recorded a video about VA’s strategies to prevent Veteran suicide. “A common misconception is that you need special training to talk safely about suicide risk or show concern for someone who is in distress. One simple act of kindness could help save a life. I encourage everyone this September, and beyond, to take the first step in acting as that support system.” 


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January 26, 2018

Arlington to National Cemetery Facilitate Second National Dialogue Survey on Capacity Cemetery leadership urges the public to have a voice in this important discussion

ARLINGTON, Va. – Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is at a crossroads in its history. In approximately 23 years, the cemetery will run out of space and will no longer be an active cemetery. In order to extend the cemetery's capacity for generations to come, changes to eligibility criteria and expansion of the cemetery's geographic footprint are required.

Other results included: • Most of those respondents also recognized the need to change eligibility policy either along with future expansions or alone. • If expansion is not possible, seventy percent of respondents told us that action should be taken to restrict eligibility at ANC (Note: Such changes would not affect the more than 200 Veterans Affairs and state military cemeteries). • Those who felt rules should change also felt strongly that the cemetery should remain open for those who have given the last full measure of devotion and have been killed in action or performed extraordinary actions in combat.



Jan. 24, 2018


VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank Collaborates With PINK Concussions Group

Women Veterans Urged to Donate Brains for Research


WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a collaboration between its National Center for PTSD and the nonprofit organization PINK Concussions, encouraging women to donate their brains for the purpose of research of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


“In the past, the focus of TBI and PTSD brain research has primarily been based on male brains — without any active recruitment for women,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, executive in charge of VA’s Veterans Health Administration. “We have a lot to learn about how the female brain deals with TBI and PTSD, which makes this effort long overdue.”


Katherine Snedaker, founder and executive director of PINK Concussions, and a brain injury survivor, also applauded the collaboration.


“We are so grateful to partner with VA to launch the first active recruitment of female Veterans, as well as active-duty members and civilian women to be a part of brain injury and PTSD research,” Snedaker said. “VA continues year after year to be one of our most valued partners in our ongoing mission to improve pre-injury education and post-injury care for women with brain injury.”


While there is postmortem brain tissue available for study of injury in men, there has been almost none for women. There is also a lack of research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, also known as CTE, in women. In all published literature on CTE, only two peer-reviewed journal articles (both published in the early 1990s) have focused on women.


Women Veterans interested in participating in the brain bank may take the PINK Concussions pledge. Though tissue donation may occur many years or decades from now, enrollment will allow researchers to learn as much as possible about the health of an enrolled female participant and how things may change over the years.


For more information about the effort, visit For more information about the VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank, visit or call 800-762-6609.