TAPS, Defense Suicide Prevention Office Sign Formal Memorandum of Understanding

Organizations Will Collaborate on Loss, Survivor Outreach, Providing Grief Resources to Families of Fallen Service Members


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program Survivors (TAPS) and the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Aug. 3 at the 2017 DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference in Denver.

“This agreement formalizes a longstanding working relationship between TAPS and DSPO,” said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll following the signing ceremony. “Both organizations share an interest in preventing suicide by increasing awareness of signs of emotional suffering and supporting suicide loss survivors through their grief. We are leading the way in a new era of public-private partnerships that make a real difference in the continuum of care for service members, veterans and their families.”

Under today’s agreement, TAPS will provide its staff and volunteers with information on DoD resources and DSPO outreach materials to enhance survivors’ understanding of the resources available to them. Additionally, TAPS will provide data and outreach materials to DSPO for its use, will participate in DSPO outreach campaigns and, when requested, provide subject matter expertise on issues of importance to suicide loss survivors.

DSPO will publicize TAPS services and programs, such as its peer mentor program, survivor seminars, and other initiatives that may raise awareness about suicide prevention. Additionally, it will include TAPS in outreach events and establish a feedback loop to identify suicide loss survivor “best practices” to be implemented throughout the services.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).


To interview a staff member about the MOU or about TAPS suicide postvention program, please contact Christine Fuentes at (540) 905-8448 or via email at christine.fuentes@taps.org. TAPS also has subject matter experts available for interview throughout the September, which Suicide Prevention Month.