Tuberville In the News: ICYMI – Tuberville Highlights Non-Profit’s Partnership with University of Alabama to Combat Veteran Suicide

America’s Warrior Partnership shares successful practices at Senate Veterans’ Affairs Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) highlighted the work of America’s Warrior Partnership, a community-based, non-profit organization for veterans, during last week’s Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health and suicide prevention resources as well as implementation of the Hannon Act. America’s Warrior Partnership has partnered with the University of Alabama, the Department of Defense, and state governments to help provide states with more accurate data regarding veteran suicide rates so that states can develop targeted outreach to local veteran populations. Excerpts from Sen. Tuberville’s questions can be found below and the full video can be found here.

TUBERVILLE: “Talking about the Hannon Act, it’s been 158 days since we enacted this [law]. 18 suicides a day — that’s 2,844 suicides total — since that [time] and we haven’t really got going good yet. …[Implementation] needs to be a priority.

“Jim, in your testimony, you talked about a study your organization lead in partnership with the University of Alabama …that seeks to identify data-driven, community-based suicide prevention measures. Can you talk a bit more about the study and what data is being collected, and how the data is being used?”

JIM LORRAINE, AMERICA’S WARRIOR PARTNERSHIP: “Yes, sir. So Operation Deep Dive is a suicide study that we lead: America’s Warrior Partnership in a partnership with the University of Alabama. It’s funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. … We have 10 states that have given us data or are about to give us data – Alabama, Montana, and Massachusetts came in yesterday. So we were able to take a look at that a little bit. 

“Minnesota and Florida led the way, and they gave us not only all of their data about the deaths. But the benefit is that we have a relationship with the Department of Defense where we provide the names and Social Security numbers of those who died to DOD and they come back and they say this is who was in the military and served and this is who wasn’t. … We get the nationality, we get the name, and age. We know the day that they came in the military. We know the reason why they left the military, we know the day they left the military, and we know the day they died.

“And so we can measure how long post service, we can measure down to the county level, what the impact has been on that community with our goal of being able to hypothetically say, ‘In Mobile, Alabama, the veteran who’s most likely to take their life has this characteristic, as compared to Tuscaloosa they might look different. In Huntsville it looks different,’ Because we know that the community factors play a lot into that.

“So we’re really happy to have our great partners at the University of Alabama … We believe strongly and our communities believe that we can’t do any work… our communities can’t serve veterans without the VA. And so we look forward to partnering very closely with the VA to make sure that we can characterize the type of veteran who’s most likely to take their life and get ahead of the curve and prevent it.”

TUBERVILLE: “Thank you. For the 400,000 veterans who call Alabama home, thank all of you for your hard work and efforts.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.