Frequently Asked Questions
Your questions help to better define what providers like you need to better support Veterans. Here are some of the common questions and answers:
- What is the Suicide Risk Management (SRM) Consultation Program?
- SRM is a free consultation program for VA or community providers who work with Veterans at risk for suicide. SRM offers tailored, one-on-one support on topics including: Risk assessment, conceptualization of suicide risk, lethal means safety counseling, strategies for how to engage Veterans at risk, best practices for documentation and provider support after a suicide loss (postvention).
- What is SRM's relationship to VA?
- SRM is a resource for providers to consult on best practices and evidence-based research that is not tied to the direct delivery of care by VA. SRM serves as a bridge between the best of VA and the needs of the community.
- Who does SRM serve?
- SRM serves both VA and community providers working with Veterans who are at risk for suicide. Please note that SRM is not a service for Veterans. Instead, it is a resource for healthcare providers.
- Is SRM confidential?
- Yes, SRM is a confidential service for providers.
- How does the SRM Consultation Program work?
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- SRM staff respond offering to schedule a consultation or address your question over email
- SRM consultant and requesting provider meet virtually for an in-depth discussion about their concerns and/or questions
- Requesting provider receives follow-up anonymous survey afterward to help us continually improve the service.
- Can SRM be helpful to me?
- Caring for Veterans at risk for suicide can be stressful and emotionally challenging. Stress can impact the therapeutic relationship, clinical decision making, and documentation. SRM consultants work collaboratively with mental healthcare providers to increase their confidence by providing concrete tools and support.
- 2 months after consultation, VA providers reported the following (n ranged from 57-62 for FY20):
- 97% implemented the consult recommendations either to a large degree or to some degree
- 93% reported that the recommendations led to enhanced suicide risk assessment and/or management for the Veteran about whom consultation was sought
- 96% applied the consult recommendations and/or resources to other Veterans they work with
… The consultant provided reassurance we are doing the right thing, as well as direction on how to move forward. We left the consultation with much more confidence than what we began with.
- What makes SRM unique?
- SRM consultants are experts in Veteran suicide risk assessment and management. They are both clinicians and well-informed researchers, which allows them to provide consultation that is based on the most up-to-date literature in the field but can easily be used in the next session with a patient you are worried about.
- How can SRM assist non-VA providers?
- The VA Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program offers education, training, information, and consultation regarding suicide risk assessment and management to non-VA healthcare professionals who care for Veterans outside of the VA system. We offer expert guidance on subjects that come up frequently in the course of caring for Veterans at risk for suicide. We cannot, however, provide direct guidance or consultation regarding the care of a specific Veteran, nor assume clinical responsibility for patients not under our care; any potential liability would be only in accordance with the Federal Tort Claims Act.