VA Appoints Suicide Panel

Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake has named those who will form two special panels to focus on ways the VA can improve its suicide prevention programs, as promised lawmakers earlier this month (see below). The Blue Ribbon Work Group on Suicide Prevention in the Veterans Population comprises “government experts in various suicide prevention and education programs,” according to a May 21 VA release. The five-member group will include experts from DOD, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute of Health, and others. It will meet from June 11-13 and has 15 days to make a report with recommendations. A second, nine-member group comprises “nationally renowned experts in public health suicide programs, suicide research, and clinical treatment programs.” The VA expects it to make recommendations to the blue ribbon work group. (Group members are listed in the VA release.)