Effects of Mass Communication on Veteran Suicide Prevention

Testing and monitoring the impact of message campaigns in helping to prevent Veteran suicide in Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Effect of Mass Communication on Veteran Suicide Prevention: Help seeking & firearm safety behaviorsPrimary Community Organization:War Memorial Center Primary Academic Partner:Bertrand D. Berger, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Award Amount:$359,173
Award Date
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:

The suicide rate among Wisconsin Veterans is significantly higher than the national Veteran suicide rate, national suicide rate, and the Wisconsin suicide rate. The unique experiences that Veterans go through make them a population worth extra consideration for developing effective suicide prevention. In terms of suicide risk factors, Veterans who die by suicide are more likely than non-Veterans to have firearms, health complications, and family member deaths to be involved.

Through this award, project partners aim to understand the impact that mass communication may have on the prevention of Veteran suicide, studying effective messaging and campaigns in order to prevent Veteran suicide in Wisconsin.

Community partners:
VA Medical Center, UW-Milwaukee, Gun Shop Project of Wisconsin, State of Wisconsin, VA/MCW Peer Outreach Program, Veteran Mental Health Advocacy Council

Academic partners:
MCW Comprehensive Injury Center

Project Updates:

  • Hosted a kick-off meeting at the War Memorial Center with local media coverage of the project
  • Hosted initial focus groups in Milwaukee and Fox Point
  • Created project website: ReachOutWis.org
  • Began implementing strategies for advertising campaign through volunteer support for the creation of videos, radio content, and email marketing

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
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