Maryland launches new program to prevent suicide among veterans and service members

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Health announced the launch of the Trained Military Assistance Provider program, an initiative to reduce suicides among Maryland service members and veterans, in a statement Thursday.

The TMAP program, which consists of 3.5 hours of online training and over 10 self-paced courses, will be free for Maryland-based primary care staff.  

MDH officials believe this initiative will allow healthcare workers to be proactive in treating veterans in need of mental health treatment. 

“Maryland’s service members and veterans benefit from specially targeted medical and mental health care,” MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said.   

The curriculum includes mental health awareness, suicide prevention, military culture, safety planning, barriers to care, lethal means counseling.  MDH officials believe this initiative will allow healthcare workers to be proactive in treating veterans in need of mental health treatment.   

According to the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 350,000 veterans, and 30,000 active duty service members living in the state. That’s why Dr. Lisa Burgess, MDH Acting Deputy Secretary for the Behavioral Health Administration says educating health care workers is so important.  

“It is important that we train everyone on how to recognize warning signs as well as how to have conversations about safely storing weapons, what medications the patient can access, and what protections they can put in place.”, Burgess said.  

The TMAP program has already been piloted in 10 primary care practices in the state.  

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