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Perspectives of Female Veterans, VHA Providers, and Family on Preventing Firearm-Inflicted Suicide

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To understand how to reduce suicide among women Veterans who have access to firearms, we are interested in speaking with women Veterans, their partners/spouses, and VA mental health or primary care providers.

Five portraits of women veterans with colorful borders


Women Veterans are twice as likely to die by suicide than women who are not Veterans, and women Veterans most commonly use firearms as their method of suicide. Lethal means safety is one recommended way to prevent suicide by temporarily reducing a person’s access to firearms. However, no studies have examined women Veterans’ thoughts about, or experiences with, lethal means safety or other similar suicide prevention efforts. Similarly, no studies have explored the perspectives of women Veterans’ spouses/partners or mental health and primary care providers regarding how to prevent suicide with firearms and what they may need to do so.

The goal of this study is to address these knowledge gaps to improve firearm-related suicide prevention efforts for women Veterans by gathering information from three participant groups:

  1. Women Veterans who have owned firearm(s) or lived in a home with firearm(s) as adults and who have experienced thoughts of suicide or suicide attempt(s) in their lifetime
  2. Partners/spouses of women Veterans who have had firearm(s) in their household while living together
  3. VA outpatient mental health or primary care providers who serve women Veterans (part or all of patients served)

By talking to individuals from the above groups, we hope to learn more to ensure that firearm lethal means safety interventions for suicide prevention are tailored to the needs and experiences of women Veterans and that helpful resources are available for family members and healthcare providers.

If you belong to one the groups listed above, please consider participating in this study to help women Veterans.

Text: if you are a woman Veteran, the partner of a woman Veteran, or a VHA healthcare provider of women Veterans and would be willing to participate, please contact our study coordinator, Suzie Thomas, at 720-723-6555. Image: two images of woman Veteran and their partners, and two images of women veterans with VA medical and mental health providers

All appointments will occur by telephone or teleconferencing.

Study Funding and Information

This research study (COMIRB: 19-0255) is being conducted by Lindsey Monteith, Ph.D., and is funded by a grant from VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D).

If you have any questions about participating, please call our Research Coordinator, Suzie Thomas, at 720-723-6555, or visit our study participation page.

Last Updated: 27 March 2024