VA Northern California Health Care System
VANCHCS Suicide Prevention and REACH VET Coordinators
Veterans experiencing a life threatening emergency should dial 911 for immediate medical or mental health attention. Veterans who are having thoughts of harming themselves should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or visit the Veterans Crisis Line Website.
Suicide Prevention Coordinators
Suicide Prevention and REACH VET Program Manager
Brian C. Adkinson, LSCSW
Sacramento Valley Suicide Prevention Coordinator (Sacramento VAMC, McClellan OPC)
Trent Lear, LCSW, LAC, MAC
Rural Suicide Prevention Coordinator (Chico OPC, Redding OPC, Yuba City OPC)
Lee Sasse, LCSW-PIP
Inpatient Suicide Prevention Coordinator (David Grant MC, Fairfield)
Tana Teicheira, LCSW
East Bay Suicide Prevention Coordinator (Martinez OPC, Oakland OPC)
Christina Wade, LCSW
Medical Center Suicide Prevention Coordinator (BHICU, Mather)
Charlene Weatherlow, MSSW, LCSW
Feel free to contact our coordinators should you have questions. Other resources are the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Veterans experiencing a life-threatening emergency should dial 911 for immediate medical or mental health attention. Veterans who are having thoughts of harming themselves should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or visit the Veterans Crisis Line Website.
The Suicide Prevention Team helps identify and monitor high risk patients, including providing follow-up to Veterans who call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Veterans Crisis Line). They are also responsible for increasing staff awareness of suicide risk factors, dissemination of new information on identification and treatment of suicidal Veterans and community outreach.
The Suicide Prevention Program began as a result of the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act, signed by Congress in 2007. It mandated VA establish a comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program and hire Suicide Prevention Coordinators for each Medical Center and large Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). A National Veterans Crisis Line was established that is staffed by VA employees and has been widely advertised to the Veteran community. VANCHCS has six Suicide Prevention Coordinator positions. This team monitors Veterans identified as being at high risk of suicide, follows up on calls to the Veterans Crisis Line, educates staff about suicide prevention strategies and provides outreach to Veterans, families, and the community regarding suicide.
REACH VET (Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment)
In 2017 VA launched an innovative program called Recovery Engagement and Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment (REACH VET).
Using a new predictive model, REACH VET analyzes existing data from Veterans’ health records to identify those at a statistically elevated risk for suicide, hospitalization, illness or other adverse outcomes. This allows VA to provide pre-emptive care and support for Veterans, in some cases before a Veteran even has suicidal thoughts.
Once a Veteran is identified, his or her VA mental health or primary care provider reaches out to check on the Veteran’s well-being, review their condition(s) and treatment plans to determine if enhanced care is needed.
REACH VET expects that Providers, or their designees, will outreach to identified Veterans within one week of being notified about the high-risk Veteran. Providers work with local leadership to determine whether or not a designee is appropriate, but this person must be a licensed professional.
Feel free to contact our coordinators listed above should you have questions. Each Suicide Prevention Coordinator also acts as a REACH VET Coordinator for their area.