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National/State Suicide Prevention Initiatives

For immediate support, 24/7, call the Veterans Crisis Line at
1-800-273-8255 and press 1.  Help is confidential and the line is available for veterans and their families.  Chat is also available at or text to 838255.

Not sure what to expect when you call?  Find answers here:


Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Service Member, Veteran and their Families Suicide

Earlier this year, the Hogan-Rutherford Administration accepted an invitation from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to participate in the national Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Service Member, Veteran and their Families Suicide.  A team of more than 30 professionals representing federal, state, and local government as well as private sector and non profit organizations has been meeting since June to develop an action plan designed to combat the serious issue of suicide in the military connected community.  The plan will be presented to the Administration later this fall.

The team is focusing on four strategic priorities:
1. Identifying service members, veterans and their families and screening for suicide risk
2. Promoting connectedness and improving care transitions
3. Lethal means safety and safety planning
4. Peer support

Learn more about the Challenge here: Governor’s Challenge Information.

Team Leads:
Joy Ashcraft, Director, Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans, MD Department of Health
Dana Burl, Director, Outreach Program, MD Department of Veterans Affairs

PREVENTS (Presidents Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide)

The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) will focus on a holistic public health approach to suicide prevention. PREVENTS seeks to change the culture surrounding mental health and suicide prevention through enhanced community integration, prioritized research activities, and implementation strategies that emphasize improved overall health and well-being.

The goal of PREVENTS is to prevent suicide — among not just Veterans but all Americans. By adopting a holistic public health approach, PREVENTS is acting on the knowledge that suicide prevention is everyone’s business, and that by working together, locally and nationally, we can prevent suicide.

PREVENTS is building on the critical successes of suicide prevention pioneers and agencies working with service members and Veterans. The PREVENTS task force is partnering with stakeholders from multiple sectors, including nonprofits, state and local organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and government leaders, to implement best practices to improve health and prevent suicide.


September 1, 2020 Governor Hogan proclaimed September as National Suicide Prevention Month in Maryland.  Maryland joins the PREVENTS nationwide campaign to increase awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention to reduce suicide for all Americans.  The proclamation was signed September 1, 2020 by Governor Larry Hogan, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, and Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith.

Learn more about the PREVENTS initiative here: PREVENTS.

Maryland Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention

Executive Order 01.01.2018.26 (Amended Executive Order 01.01.2009.13) was signed by Governor Larry Hogan on October 11, 2018 to modernize the Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention (the Commission). The Commission was created to strengthen and coordinate the state’s suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention services. The amended executive order expands the existing commission membership to be more representative in age, profession, and life experience as well as more clearly aligns the commission’s duties with changing times.​

For more information on the Commission visit: Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention

Natalie Miller, Staff to the Commission, MD Department of Health- Behavioral Health Administration

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