Operation Deep Dive - A four year research study on veteran suicides in Houston


HOUSTON, TX. Combined Arms, a Houston-based collaborative impact organization that uses an innovative approach of technology and service delivery to disrupt the veteran transition experience, is proud to announce that it will participate in Operation Deep Dive, a community-based veteran suicide prevention study led by America’s Warrior Partnership and University of Alabama researchers with support from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

Operation Deep Dive is the first research endeavor to assess the effects that community environments have on the potential factors of suicides among veterans. Combined Arms will participate in the second phase of the study, where researchers will analyze information gathered by the Community Action Teams along with data from national sources, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and United Way Worldwide to identify trends, patterns of potential indicators of suicide.  Results will ultimately guide the development of proactive, holistic prevention and outreach programs to reduce suicides and self-harm among veterans. 

The six new study participants are the Tristate Veterans Community Alliance (based in Cincinnati); Clear Path for Veterans (based in Syracuse, N.Y.); Veterans Recovery Resources (based in Mobile, AL); Veterans Bridge Home (based in Charlotte, NC); the city governments of Indianapolis and Las Vegas.

With the support of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Combined Arms will create and lead a Community Action Team, which will consists of local medical examiners, coroners, VA representatives, veteran-serving organizations, civic leaders, veterans and their families and caregivers.  The Community Action Team will work with the University of Alabama researchers to shape, review, and direct the project within their region.  Houston area local counties including Montgomery, Galveston, Madison, Walker, and Harris, will be participating.  Invitations have been extended to Fort Bend, Brazoria, and Liberty Counties to participate remain pending.

The VA estimates that 20 veterans die by suicide every day, which means that is a public health crisis that affects the entire country.  However, while previous studies have evaluated the crisis from a national level, there is little insight as to how local factors are affecting veterans who live in different communities.  Operation Deep Dive seeks to fill these research gaps and provide organizations with actionable insights they can use to more proactively and effectively support the veterans they serve in their community.

More information about the project is available at https://americaswarriorpartnership.org/deep-dive/.