Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2021), 51(2), 344-351. SIEC No: 20230080
Objective To develop and use planning maps to prioritize and facilitate county-level recruitment for Together With Veterans (TWV), community-based rural Veteran suicide prevention program. Method Choropleth maps were created for 49 U.S. states, with four mutually exclusive categories indicating eligibility for the TWV program and increasing levels of need assigned to each county based on (a) percent Veterans Health Administration enrollees residing in rural communities, (b) percent population that are Veterans, and (c) crude suicide mortality rate. Results Of 3113 counties, 78.2% were eligible for TWV and 25.8% met our highest priority definition. A national map and state map were provided to demonstrate final products used to engage stakeholders. A table of recommendations for creating and using planning maps was provided for future projects to reference. Conclusions Geographic information system (GIS) is useful for identifying and prioritizing counties that may benefit most from a rural Veteran suicide prevention program. Choropleth maps allow for dissemination of information about county suicide risk and need for suicide prevention to community members, researchers, and others with a vested interest in suicide reduction. The maps are one tool among many which can support decision-makers in focusing available resources on populations with the most need.