Judge Joins Veterans in Support of New County Veterans Center.

March 2, 2020. The Monroe County Buzz published the following article.

“Old General Sessions Court Building Eyed for Vet’s In an item discussed at the February county commission meeting on Thursday, County Mayor Mitch Ingram revealed that plans were underway to renovate the old now unoccupied Witt courtroom annex on Hickory and Tellico streets and upgrade its function as a new veteran’s center.

The building was the former structure of Monroe County General Sessions and Juvenile Courts, both of which moved with Judge Dwaine Thomas into the new Highway 68 justice center last month.

In a letter to Ingram dated February 18, Thomas said he met with veteran Bob Hatley of Vet to Vet Tennessee, an “invaluable resource” to the county.  Vet to Vet Tennessee provides service at no charge and no obligation to the county, Thomas said, and in his and Hatley’s opinion the building should be reassigned as a “Veteran Community Services Building.”  Thomas recommended placing the county’s veteran services officer Andy Boyd, Vet to Vet Tennessee, and Helen Ross McNabb Center within the building as a “one stop shop” for veterans and their families, effectively using the place for obtaining benefits and services that included counseling and treatment.

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Pilot Youth Suicide Prevention Program approved!

As of February 13, 2020, VTVT’s “Worth It” Suicide Prevention Youth Program has been unanimously approved in its entirety by the Monroe County School Board. The link to the School Board discussion is below. This is a three-phase suicide prevention program.

  1. Guidance Counselors – Guidance Counselors in every middle and high school will be trained as certified QPR Instructors as well as receive advance training for suicide screening and referral. Completed on January 6, 2020.
  2. Students – All middle and high school students will be trained as certified QPR Gatekeepers yearly. Begins March 3, 2020; to be complete by May 2020
  3. Community – Veteran Military Friendly Congregations within major cities of Monroe County will be hosting “Worth It” Suicide Prevention play with cast from the school students.  Play tentatively scheduled for May 2020.

We are extraordinarily grateful for the Monroe County Schools for accepting our pilot program to prevent suicide in youth.


We are grateful for all of your support, guidance and care.

TN Governor Bill Lee Recognizes teen suicide as a state health crisis

On February 3, 2020 TN Governor Bill Lee signed HJR 0001 “Statement of Intent or Position – Recognizes teen suicide as a health crisis in Tennessee.”  This bill was originally introduced on November 7, 2018.  In which time the rate of TN suicides surpassed the national rate according to YRBSS definitely qualifying youth suicide as a crisis.

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1st QPR Gatekeeper Instructors sponsored by VTVT 2020

The first QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Instructor class for the New Year was hosted by Director of Monroe County TN Schools Dr. DeAnna McClendon on January 6, 2020 in Madisonville TN. The class was sponsored and conducted by Vet to Vet Tennessee. The 11 graduates included 10 Monroe County School Counselors and the Suicide Prevention Committee Chair of Anderson County Schools of their Advancing Wellness And Resilience Education (AWARE) program. 

Assisting during the class was VTVT QPR Gatekeeper Instructors Dr. Emily Hager, Sheryn and Don Davis and QPR Institute Master Instructor Ed Junod. This is the first phase of VTVT’s three (3) Middle/High School QPR Suicide Prevention pilot program. VTVT is working directly with the QPR Institute’s Founder and CEO Dr. Paul Quinnett and Monroe County Schools Director of Federal Programs Lee Anne Strickland.

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