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Governor's Challenge

Governor JB Pritzker joined the Governor’s Challenge to prevent veteran suicide with a $2M investment. IDVA has assigned staff the challenge and its break out committees to develop practical strategies and tactics. The Governor’s Challenge is a partnership between Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to bring the Governor’s and Mayor’s Challenges to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families to states and communities across the Nation. For the Governor’s Challenge, 35 states are taking part in the challenge and are working to develop and implement state-wide suicide prevention best practices for SMVF, using a public health approach. For the Mayor’s Challenge, 22 communities were originally engaged as part of the challenge. Currently, 19 Mayor’s Challenge teams are actively participating, seventeen of the communities are within participating Governor’s Challenge states and one of which was added in 2021. SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center is providing technical assistance for both of these initiatives. 

IDVA, along with DHS, participates in the Governor's Challenge, a campaign to prevent suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. Please take a moment to view this message from Director Prince recruiting 70,000 health care workers and others to participate in suicide prevention training. Learn how you can get involved!

Challenge Objectives

  • Convene a state (Governor’s Challenge) or city/community (Mayor’s Challenge) interagency military and civilian team of leaders to develop an implementation plan to prevent suicide among SMVF that will advance the VA’s National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide (PDF | 2.9 MB) and incorporate evidence-based strategies from the CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices (PDF | 6.3 MB). 
  • Implement promising, best, and evidence-based practices to prevent and reduce suicide. 
  • Engage with city, county, and state stakeholders to enhance and align local and state-wide suicide prevention efforts. 
  • Understand the issues surrounding suicide prevention for SMVF.
  • Increase knowledge about the challenges and lessons learned in implementing best policies and practices by using state-to-state and community-to-community sharing. 
  • Employ promising, best, and evidence-based practices to prevent and reduce suicide at the local level. 
  • Define and measure success, including defining assignments, deadlines, and measurable outcomes to be reported.