Veterans Coalition of the Crystal Coast (VCCC)
Mission Statement: Prevent Veteran suicides within our local community, in North Carolina, and nationwide.
Vision Statement: Honor and serve Veterans and active-duty military and their families by building and maintaining a coalition of concerned organizations and people dedicated to the detection of veteran mental health issues and the prevention of suicide.
The VCCC’s programs include, but are not limited to providing Veterans and their families with information about benefits and referrals to the Veteran Administration; and, working in partnership with organizations in identifying at-risk Veterans specifically regarding suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The objective is to end Veteran suicides in North Carolina and nationwide. The corporation will work towards eliminating suicide by: identifying risk factors; facilitating intervention and assistance by Veterans to help at-risk Veterans in our community; assisting Veterans and their families with registration, transportation, care-givers, equipment, lodging and other essentials related to services provided through the Veteran Administration; and, motivating Veterans and the families of Veterans to participate in recreational, therapeutic and economic activities in order to facilitate the healing process.
Together With Veterans (TWV) Partnership
In July of 2018 Carteret County became the third county in the nation to partner with the Veterans Administration Office of Rural Health to develop a local TWV program.
TWV is an evidence-based Veteran suicide prevention intervention and is a partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC); the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Behavioral Health Program (WICHE BHP) and local organizations run by or serving Veterans.
TWV is a process that supports rural communities in developing a local action plan to prevent Veteran suicide.
TWV Suicide prevention strategies
Identify Service Members, Veterans, and their Families and Screen for Suicide Risk
• Provide Suicide Prevention Training: to assist community members, families, and service providers in identifying at-risk Veterans and connect them to care.
• Enhance Primary Care Suicide Prevention: To inform medical providers about why and how to screen for suicide risk, identify Veterans they serve and provide culturally competent care.
Promote Connectedness and Improve Care Transitions
• Promote Connectedness and Help Seeking: To encourage social support and community engagement among Veterans and promotes positive and supportive attitudes about Veterans seeking care when they need it.
• Improve Communication Across Veteran-serving Programs: To foster working relationships and coordination of care across Veteran-serving agencies.
Increase Lethal Means Safety and Safety Planning
• Promote Lethal Means Safety: To encourage limiting access to lethal means during periods of crisis, which can make it more likely that the Veteran will delay or survive a suicide attempt.
• Enhance Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention: To inform community providers about training and consultation resources, such as safety planning, that help manage suicide risk and keep Veterans in treatment safe during a crisis
TWV VCCC History
Carteret County identified by the Rocky Mountain MIRECC and WICHE to be the third TWV partnership.
July. First meeting with MIRECC representatives to establish a TWV group in Carteret County.
September 12-15, 2018, Hurricane Florence Disrupted meetings until January 2019.
February. First TWV Summit in Bolder CO.
April. Members attended Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Service Members and Veterans Families (SMVF) Rural Conference in Washington DC.
June. First Clergy Coffee Hour.
July. Business entity name, Veterans Coalition of the Crystal Coast approved by NC Secretary of State.
September 6, 2019, Hurricane Dorian Disrupted meetings until January 2020.
November. Developed comprehensive action plan to reduce the stigma of suicide, promote lethal means safety, and to provide suicide prevention training in Carteret and surrounding counties.
January. Established initial Board of Directors (BOD).
March. Last in-person meeting for the year. Covid-19 forced all meetings to be virtual (Zoom) meetings.
July. Members attended and presented at the Veterans Administration (VA) & Department of Defense (DoD) Suicide Prevention Conference in Nashville, TN.
October. Virtual Summit with all TWV Sites, MIREC and WICHE Representatives. *
November. Virtual Summit with all TWV Sites, MIREC and WICHE Representatives. *
December. Bylaws developed and signed by BOD. Sent IRS application for tax exempt status as a not for profit, 501 (c) (3) entity.
Approved as a not for profit, 501(c)3, business entity with an establishment date of August 2019 and full tax-deductible status for donations.
Qualified three members as suicide prevention protocol trainers and we have access to additional trainers if needed at no cost.
Trained 102 local area first responders, veterans, and civilians in suicide prevention protocols.
December. Financial support from the VA Office of Rural Health to build the organization/program ended.
*Virtual Summit replaced scheduled on-site summit normally conducted in Boulder, CO. Included training and breakout sessions.
NOTE: The Carteret County Veterans Council and the duties thereof have been absorbed into the VCCC in the form of committees. Those committees include the Carteret County Memorial Day and the Carteret County Veterans Day Committees. For more detailed information on either the Memorial Day Service or the Veterans Day Parade please see the Community Activities page of this website.
For more information, send your requests to [email protected] or call 252-499-2354.