Webinar: PREVENTS—A Whole Nation Approach to Suicide Prevention

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar September 8, 2020, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM Eastern
Course Available

Join the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® during National Suicide Prevention Week for a webinar about a new national effort to prevent suicide among Veterans and all Americans. This webinar will provide information about the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). Enacted by President Donald J. Trump by Executive Order, PREVENTS is a Cabinet-level, interagency effort to develop the first Federally-coordinated national public health strategy to address suicide.

The PREVENTS Roadmap, released in June 2020, is a historic, national plan to raise awareness about mental health, connect Veterans and others at risk of suicide to federal and local resources, and facilitate focused and coordinated research into suicide. Details are available on the Veterans Affairs PREVENTS website. The first recommendation in the PREVENTS Roadmap is to create and implement a national public health campaign focused on suicide prevention. The campaign, called REACH, was launched in July 2020. Learn more about REACH at the We Are Within Reach website. 

Presented by Barbara Van Dahlen, PhD, Executive Director of the PREVENTS Task Force, the webinar will also inform participants about ways to get involved and contribute to PREVENTS’ efforts. Dr. Van Dahlen will be joined by Carolyn Colley, whose two brothers served in the military and died by suicide. A veteran herself, Carolyn has spent much of her career helping veterans and their families, serves as a Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Peer Mentor, and works for the PREVENTS Office.




Barbara Van Dahlen

Barbara Van Dahlen, PhD

Dr. Van Dahlen is the Executive Director of the PREVENTS Task Force. Named to TIME magazine's 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Dr. Van Dahlen is the Founder of Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health care to those in need including service members, veterans and their families. Dr. Van Dahlen led the organization as President until 2019. A licensed clinical psychologist who practiced in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years, she received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland in 1991. Dr. Van Dahlen also founded the Campaign to Change Direction® in 2015, a global initiative focused on changing the culture of mental health. Change Direction is a public health approach that encourages everyone to learn the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering that tell them that someone they know may be suffering emotionally and may need help. Change Direction has gained tremendous momentum in the United States and internationally. Dr. Van Dahlen is an expert on the psychological impact of war and a thought leader in mobilizing constituencies to create large system change. She is widely recognized for her work in changing the culture associated with mental health. Dr. Van Dahlen has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and TIME, and has been interviewed by major media outlets such as APNew York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, CNN, NPRGood Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Newshour, and such military media outlets as Stars & Stripes, AUSA Magazine, and the Pentagon Channel. Dr. Van Dahlen is also the host of a podcast, Inner Space and the mental health consultant for the ABC television drama, A Million Little Things.



Carolyn Colley

Carolyn Colley

Carolyn Colley enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 and served at as a Russian Cryptolinguist. Carolyn then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian Studies from the University of California, Davis, after which, Carolyn taught English in St. Petersburg, Russia. Carolyn graduated from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she focused on Veteran Policy, Military Law, and Mediation, and became a certified Mediator. Following military service, Carolyn’s professional career has centered around military and veterans issues, to include work with the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, the Center for Veterans Advancement, the Military and Veterans Unit for Lone Star Legal Aid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Carolyn also volunteers as a peer mentor for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Carolyn’s younger brother, PFC Stephen Colley, died by suicide in 2007, after he returned from combat. Tragedy struck Carolyn’s family again when, in 2017, Carolyn’s older brother, MAJ Alan Colley, also died by suicide. In an effort to turn her pain and loss into purpose, Carolyn joined the PREVENTS Office in April 2020 to assist in their national efforts to prevent suicide for Veterans and all Americans.


Program Details

This webinar is free and open to the public. Continuing education credit is not available.


About the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®

The TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® is positioned to be the national and worldwide leader in training and education for bereavement professionals, bereaved individuals, and grieving military, veteran and civilian families. The Institute serves as a resource and training center, providing a hub for high-quality collaboration among professionals working in the field of grief and loss.

The Institute is where practical information on coping with loss are accessible for all who seek current strategies, the most effective tools, and best practices for supporting those who are grieving and those who serve the grieving. 

The Institute provides workshops, seminars, panel discussions, and more to educate caregivers, mental health professionals, clergy, funeral directors, casualty officers, the bereaved themselves, and so many others on the best ways to travel the grief journey.

TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® is located at TAPS Headquarters, 3033 Wilson Blvd., Third Floor, Arlington, VA 22201

Email us at Institute@taps.org or give us a call at 800-959-8277 (TAPS) with any questions.