The Operation Deep Dive suicide prevention study examines the factors and potential causes involved in suicide and non-natural deaths among Veterans. The project specifically studies the community environment impact, an area that has been absent from past research.
America’s Warrior Partnership leads the study with researchers from the University of Alabama and support from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Operation Deep Dive conducts studies in 14 communities nationwide. By the study’s completion in 2021, researchers aim to have a methodology that any community can implement to identify the unique risk factors of suicide within their area.
Currently, the researchers investigate the lives of Veterans lost to suicide or non-natural causes within the last 12 months. They are doing this by interviewing those who knew the Veteran best: their friends, family and co-workers.
These “deep dive” interviews examine the last 6-12 months of the Veteran’s life. Researchers determine how each Veteran was engaged within their community and identify the gaps in services that needed to be filled in order to better support Veterans in the future.
Join the Fight
Operation Deep Dive needs your help. If you know a Veteran who has died by suicide or non-natural causes in the last 12 months, please consider joining the fight as an interview participant. Losing a loved one to suicide can be a traumatic experience, but by participating in one of these interviews, your insight will contribute greatly to the formation of a proactive approach to preserving the life of service members and Veterans in the future.
Researchers seek interviewees 18 years or older and located within one of the communities listed below. The Veteran that an interviewee knew must’ve also lived in that same community prior to their death. The list:
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Upstate, S.C.
- Panhandle, Fla.
- Orange County, Calif.
- Southern Ala.
- Syracuse, N.Y.
- Houston, Texas
- Twin Cities, Minn.
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Las Vegas, Nev.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Tristate Ohio
- Coastal South Carolina
- Indianapolis, Ind.
Non-natural causes of death include overdose, asphyxiation, accidental gunshot, drowning, suicide by law enforcement, and high-speed single drive accidents.
If you would like additional information about being a participant, please visit the Operation Deep Dive web page.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.
This story is part of the Secretary’s Priorities series, which was outlined to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Military Constructions, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies on Feb. 26, 2019, by VA Secretary Wilkie. The Secretary’s Priorities are Customer Service, MISSION Act, Electronic Health Record, Transforming Business Systems, and Suicide Prevention. These stories are designed to give a closer look at the improvements VA is making in how we relate to, interact with, and ultimately serve our Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.