WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a notice in the Federal Register April 1, to solicit public feedback to guide implementation of the new VA Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP).
SSG Fox SPGP will be a $174 million, three-year grant program to provide resources to community organizations that serve Veterans at risk of suicide and support to their families across the U.S.
Those resources are outlined in the grant program Congress established under the authority of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019.
“Suicide prevention is a top priority for VA and this grant program is part of our comprehensive public health approach to reach all Veterans through the use of results-oriented initiatives aimed at reducing suicide," said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “This congressionally-enacted grant program will allow us to work with local providers to offer Veterans the support they deserve. The information gathered from this initiative will allow us to better invest and share resources with community organizations to collaboratively reduce Veteran suicide.”
The public notice requests feedback on distribution and selection of grants, development of measures and metrics for administering the grant program, training, and technical assistance to grant recipients and non-traditional and innovative approaches and treatment practices for suicide prevention services. It also seeks public comment on how grant recipients should determine suicide risk and refer Veterans at risk of suicide or other mental or behavioral health conditions to VA for care.
In addition to soliciting public comments, VA will be hosting two virtual listening sessions in the coming months. A second Federal Register Notice with registration information and further details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. The feedback from both notices will be used to provide recommendations for the SSG Fox SPGP.
View the notice and submit comments at the Federal Register. The public comment period ends April 22, 2021.
If you’re a Veteran having thoughts of suicide or you know one who is, contact the Veterans Crisis Line 24/7/365 days a year. Call?1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at http://veteranscrisisline.net/Chat or text to 838255.