Mayor’s Challenge Background
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) partnered with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to bring the Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenges to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families to states and communities across the Nation.
The Mayor’s Challenge was launched in March 2018, bringing together representatives of eight cities to develop local action plans to prevent Veteran suicide. Since then, the Mayor’s Challenge program has expanded to a total of 24 cities. Teams are made up of members from community groups, local government, military, and others. SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF) Technical Assistance (TA) Center provided technical assistance to the teams.
SAMHSA and their SMVF TA
SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center serves as a national resource to support states, territories, and local communities in strengthening their capacity to address the behavioral health needs of military and veteran families.
Through its Governor's and Mayor's Challenges, SAMHSA and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs support the implementation of a public health approach for the prevention of suicide among service members, veterans, and their families. These efforts help states and communities develop the capacity to implement interagency military/civilian action plans grounded in evidence-based suicide prevention practices.
- Identify Service Members, Veterans, and their Families and screen for suicide risk
- Promote connectedness and improve care transitions
- Increase lethal means safety and safety planning