OnStar and VA now working together to help prevent veteran suicide

Julia LeDoux
August 18, 2020 - 9:59 am
Crisis line

Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs has teamed with OnStar to improve access to suicide prevention resources for veterans.

The partnership offers veterans in crisis the opportunity to be transferred to around-the-clock, confidential support via VA’s Veterans Crisis Line when they use the emergency services button in an OnStar-equipped vehicle or OnStar Guardian smartphone app.

“The VA-OnStar partnership aims to promote suicide prevention and reduce deaths by suicide by providing additional resources to veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a release. “This partnership will help veterans access suicide prevention support services and assistance directly and immediately.”

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The partnership allows more than 400 VA suicide prevention coordinators and their teams, located at every VA medical center, to connect veterans with care and educate the community about suicide prevention programs and resources daily, added Wilkie.

An average of 20 veterans die by suicide each day. VA and OnStar will collaborate to provide education and training to VA clinicians and OnStar call center staff to facilitate suicide prevention efforts for veterans.

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VA will also provide resources and education to OnStar about military culture and how to determine if a caller is a veteran.

“OnStar services are designed to help our customers go out into the world feeling safer, and we recognize that for many people, and in particular veterans, a crisis can start from within,” said Catherine Bishop, senior global emergency services manager for OnStar. “This partnership with VA allows our emergency-certified advisors to better serve the heroes who have served us.”

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com

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