The Mental Health Department at Memphis VAMC has begun the Clay Hunt Initiative to improve outreach and services for Veterans not yet connected to the VA, especially rural and transitioning servicemembers. We desire to educate and inform the community about mental health resources available to veterans.
Who is Clay Hunt? Clay Hunt was a Marine Corps Veteran from Houston, Texas. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and remained active in humanitarian aid efforts after returning home. Clay Hunt died by suicide in 2011 at the age of 28. Clay’s parents lobbied to mental improve services for Veterans like Clay, leading to the Clay Hunt SAV Act.
What is the Clay Hunt SAV Act? The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act is a law passed by Congress in 2015 to improve suicide prevention efforts for Veterans, with a special focus on community outreach.
What is the Clay Hunt Initiative at Memphis VAMC? The mission of the Clay Hunt initiative is to build collaborative networks within the community to 1) Make it easier for transitioning servicemembers and Veterans to access VA services, 2) Increase the availability of peer support, and 3) Educate community partners about suicide prevention.
We are also able to participate in workshops and presentations. Our favorite presentation is “How to have a conversation with a Veteran” which focuses on Military Culture.
How can I help? All help is appreciated! We would like to learn about your organization’s needs, attend your events to reach the Veterans you serve, and act as a point of contact for Veterans who may want to learn more about VA. Please contact us to set up a meeting!
How can I get training for suicide prevention? Our Suicide Prevention Team would love to provide free, individualized training for your group. Just let us know when we can visit!
Who can I contact? Reach out to our Clay Hunt staff:
Montoyia McGowan, LCSW Sabrina Price, Peer Support Specialist
(901) 523-8990 x4012 (901) 523-8990 x2586
We are proud to honor the legacy of Clay Hunt, humbled by the community of those who care for Veterans, and committed to serving all whose lives are touched by suicide.