Press release from Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry:
ABCCM’s Veterans Services of the Carolinas is the recipient of a $750,000 grant to facilitate a program of suicide prevention for veterans in all 100 North Carolina counties. The Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP) provides resources toward community-based suicide prevention efforts for veterans and their families. The grant program enables implementation of a public health approach with an emphasis on evidence-based clinical strategies. ABCCM was one of 82 organizations nationwide to receive this new community based VA initiative. This program is expected to begin implementation October 1.
“ABCCM is well positioned to administer both community education and training and crisis response across all 100 North Carolina counties, with multiple programs and offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Jacksonville,” says Brandon Wilson, Director, Veterans Services of the Carolinas. “Over the last decade we have learned that healing happens with community. This opportunity will enhance the ability for churches, non-profits, and local partners to become a vital part of the solution in addressing this serious health issue among our military connected communities.”
ABCCM will partner across NC with organizations such as the Stephen A. Cohen Clinic, Lumbee Tribe, Vaya Health, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, HOPE Mission, Haywood Pathways, and Veterans Bridge Home, to name a few.
“ABCCM is honored that Veterans Services of the Carolinas was selected to receive this suicide prevention grant that compliments the outstanding work of their Veterans Crisis call centers that will now serve all 100 counties in North Carolina,” says ABCCM’s Executive Director, Rev. Scott Rogers. “We are grateful to collaborate with the VA Medical Centers, Veteran services organizations and regional mental health management entities such as VAYA Health.”
Timing is critical in suicide prevention, along with highly trained personnel. “Our call center staff is already trained extensively in evidence based practices such as, Mental Health First Aid, Critical Time Intervention, and QPR suicide prevention,” Rev. Rogers says. “We will work diligently to bring hope and meaning for every caller to help reduce suicide rates in our state. We will also give communities and families of Veterans a way to be a part of Veteran Crisis Assistance Teams, who will assist staff in meeting with the callers in person within the first hour of a crisis call, eye to eye and kneecap to kneecap. Together we will find community solutions that not only saves live, but help let every veteran know that they belong and have a greater purpose with our families and communities.”
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina spoke of the benefits to NC’s veterans. “Congratulations to Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry and Veterans Bridge Home on being awarded Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grants to combat veteran suicide in North Carolina,” he says. “The SSGT Fox grant was included in the Hannon Act, which I proudly supported. Our brave men and women who served our country were faced with challenging situations that many still cope with, and we must do everything we can to help them. This grant will enhance community collaboration and I look forward to seeing the good work both organizations will do to help North Carolina veterans.”