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Collaborative Care in the
Prevention of Veteran Suicide

Medical-legal partnerships have proven invaluable to the mitigation of social and economic conditions that regularly impact the health of military veterans. Such conditions include housing instability, debt management, and child custody and child support challenges, to name just a few. Left unresolved, any one of these issues can severely worsen a veteran’s physical and/or mental health. 

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 40% of veterans have diagnosed mental health conditions, including depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorder. In addition, approximately 17 veterans die by suicide each and every day.

Moderated by VLS board member and Marine Corps veteran Nick Hasenfus, Esq., an associate at Holland & Knight, this panel discussion focused on how greater collaboration in the care of veterans can improve wellness outcomes.
Panelists included:
  • Ellen Lawton, Esq., a senior fellow at HealthBegins and the founding director and lead researcher at the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership; 
  • Sandra Levine, LICSW, a suicide prevention specialist at the Boston VA Healthcare System; and 
  • Caroline L'huillier, an Army veteran, former Louisiana National Guard member, and a transgender activist. 

"Medical-legal partnership helps create the conditions so that lawyers and healthcare team members can work more closely approach patient-clients with a more unified vision that puts the patient-client at the center." 

— Ellen Lawton, HealthBegins
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