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Mission: Ask The Question

In the Spring of 2020, the State of Maryland accepted an invitation from the US Department of Health and Human Services/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to participate in the national Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and Families (SMVF).  A team of more than 30 professionals representing federal, state, and local government as well as private sector and non profit organizations has met since June of 2020 to develop an action plan designed to combat the serious issue of suicide in the military connected community.  The plan was submitted to SAMHSA in September 2020.



One of three priority areas for the Governor’s Challenge is to identify service members, veterans and their families and screen for suicide risk.  A toolkit for governments, providers, and businesses is now available.  This toolkit provides information on why it is important to screen for military service, how to ask the question, and what to do when a service member, veteran, or family member indicates their connection to the military.  The toolkit contains a script, resources, and other materials for implementing “Ask The Question” campaigns within their organizations.

Read and download the toolkit at this link: Ask the Question Toolkit

Find campaign VA resources at this link: Ask the Question Campaign VA Resources

Join us as a participating organization and request outreach marketing materials here.

Sample marketing materials:

2in by 3in consumer pocket card (front and back)


5in by 7in participating organization/provider card (front and back)


The Governor’s Challenge Training Portal
The Governor’s Challenge Training Portal (Portal) was developed in partnership with SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) Technical Assistance (TA) Center and the PsychArmor Institute. The Portal is a web-based, single point of entry for Governor’s Challenge state teams and their partners to PsychArmor’s learning management system.  The Portal provides access to a set menu of PsychArmor’s online trainings, as well as links to off-site trainings through VA and the Education Development Center.  With access to the Portal, team members can promote online trainings to community partners, providers, and others to support strategies related to their suicide prevention strategic action plans.

Training Menu:

  • 15 Things Veterans Want You to Know (also available specific to healthcare providers)
  • Communication Skills with Veterans
  • Connecting with the VA
  • Crisis Response Plan for Health Care Providers
  • Finding Stability After Suicide Loss
  • Inner Conflict and Survivor’s Guilt
  • Myths and Facts About Wounded Warriors
  • Postvention: Healing After Suicide
  • Substance Use Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations
  • Suicide in Military Members and Veterans
  • VA S.A.V.E.: Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention
  • VA S.A.V.E.: Preventing Caregiver Suicide
  • Women Who Serve

Accessing the Portal:

  • Visit the Portal here.
  • Complete registration
  • Once registered, access will be given to an individualized dashboard with a menu of available trainings, as well as links to off-site trainings
  • To access the dashboard, follow the link at any time and login with the email and password created at registration
  • If you are already registered, email Jenna Pryor,, to migrate your dashboard to the Portal

For questions, contact Dana Burl, Director, Communications, Outreach, and Advocacy, Maryland Department of Veterans & Military Families at

For immediate support, 24/7, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988 and press 1.  Help is confidential and the line is available for veterans and their families.  Chat is also available at or text to 988.  Not sure what to expect when you call?  Find answers here: VeteransCrisisLine

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