This breakout will include presentation and discussion of the elements of successful implementation of community-based suicide prevention. A public health approach to suicide prevention involves collaborating across systems to implement multiple strategies from universal to indicated. Bridging the gap between national best practices and local communities is critical to conducting multicomponent public health initiatives. Together With Veterans (TWV) is an innovative model for suicide prevention that emphasizes empowering local Veterans to become leaders for change in their communities. The National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide emphasizes community partnership—TWV builds partnerships by developing local leadership and enhancing community capacity. TWV trains community partners in a 5-phase road map for implementing a community-based suicide prevention program—Build Your Team; Learn about Your Community; Teach Your Team; Plan for Action; Follow Your Plan and Measure Results. The TWV model has been developed and refined in three rural communities in preparation for national dissemination. First, Nathaniel Mohatt, TWV Principal Investigator, will present the TWV model for empowering Veterans to lead local suicide prevention efforts, including community engagement strategies, lessons learned, and evaluation results. Second, Gina Brimner, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Director of Veteran Initiatives, will present the TWV Toolkit, including the 5-phase process, training model, and tools. Third, Leah Wendleton, , TWV Program Manager, will present the TWV evaluation framework, metrics, and data collection tools.
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