May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time where we can come together to fight stigma, provide support, learn, and advocate for policies that support the millions of people in the U.S. affected by or struggling with mental health issues and illnesses. In support of Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to highlight the amazing work of VHA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP). OMHSP’s Suicide Prevention Program focuses on addressing the mental health needs of Veterans across the U.S and takes a multi-faceted, comprehensive public health approach to preventing suicide among Veterans. Their Keep it Secure (KIS) campaign is a national suicide prevention public health campaign that incorporates public service announcement videos ( or “PSAs”) to promote awareness about simple steps, such as secure firearm storage and safe medication storage, Veterans can take to protect themselves and their families.
Thus far, KIS’s large, comprehensive media strategy has included:
- Website development
- Paid media platforms including traditional and online television networks (e.g., CBS, Paramount+), online gaming (e.g., Twitch), and streaming music services (e.g., Spotify)
- Keyword search advertisement
- Targeted outreach to multiple audiences within the diverse Veteran community (including female and LGBTQ Veterans)
- On-site presence at numerous professional sporting events (e.g., Army-Navy football game, NFL games, NASCAR races)
- Donated billboard space displaying KIS advertisements around the country
Through this multi-pronged, wide-ranging communications outreach, Trilogy has helped KIS raise awareness of the importance of lethal means safety – aka keeping things like firearms, medications, opioids, or sharp objects securely stored when not in use. Research shows that securely storing lethal means can be an effective barrier between suicidal impulse and action, and KIS has distributed over a thousand free firearm locks across the country, positively impacting the lives of Veterans and their families. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! OMHSP will continue to work tirelessly to prevent Veteran suicide and address mental health concerns for our Veterans.
Trilogy is proud to support the important work of the Keep it Secure campaign, during Mental Health Awareness Month and throughout the year. Click here to learn more about our work with the Keep it Secure campaign and other important health initiatives within VA.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis or concerned about someone who is, contact the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to receive 24/7 confidential support, including customized assistance for Veterans and their families via the Veterans Crisis Line. To reach responders, dial 988 then press 1, chat online at https://988lifeline.org/chat/, or text 988.