42. Serving Those Who Served

JUL 7, 202326 MIN
Contagious Conversations

42. Serving Those Who Served

JUL 7, 202326 MIN


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for Americans overall. And sadly, our nation’s veterans face even higher rates of suicide. In this month's episode, we discuss the crisis of veteran suicide and the community-based preventative approaches being taken today.

Joining us in this conversation is Nicola Winkel, project director for the Arizona Coalition for Military Families. ACMF is a nationally recognized public-private partnership focused on building Arizona's statewide capacity to care for, serve and support service members, veterans and their families and communities. In her role, Nicola oversees the coalition’s Be Connected Program, a support ecosystem for service members, veterans and their families. Winkel is also the spouse of a veteran herself and has more than 20 years experience in nonprofit program development and implementation.

If you know of a veteran experiencing a crisis, dial 988, then press 1 for help.

For full episode transcription, visit Contagious Conversations.


Key Takeaways:

[1:04] Nicola discusses the challenges many veterans and service members are facing. 

[2:33] In the past decade, Americans have become more aware of the hardships faced by veterans.

[3:24] Nicola shares the mission of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families. 

[4:16] Nicola addresses the importance of upstream efforts in suicide prevention.

[6:20] Why are organizations such as the Arizona Coalition for Military Families so important for veteran suicide prevention?

[7:24] What is veteran engagement like with community-based organizations?

[8:44] Nicola discusses how the community integration and connectedness model in building an ecosystem of support.

[11:04] Nicola talks about the Coaching into Connection Program.

[12:22] Veterans have shared experiences that helped them connect to each other through bad times.

[14:35] Nicola discusses her organization’s involvement in the Veteran Suicide Prevention Evaluation project.

[16:36] How has their increased capacity for evaluation most significantly impacted their work?

[17:20] Nicola describes the evolution of their programming.

[20:42] What does Nicola see as the greatest opportunity to prevent suicide and protect our veterans?



Mentioned in This Episode:

Learn more about the CDC Foundation’s efforts to prevent veteran suicide.