Social Worker - Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator

Department Of Veterans Affairs Knoxville , TN 37902

Posted 2 months ago

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The Suicide Prevention Program (SPP) is focused upon the full implementation of VA's National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense (VA/DoD) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide. The Suicide Prevention Coordinator plays an integral role in providing direct support to Veterans while fulfilling key outreach and training responsibilities as part of VA's public health model.

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The Suicide Prevention Coordinator (SPC) serves as the champion of VA's suicide prevention activities and is required to perform the following functions:

  • Tracks and reports on Veterans who have attempted suicide or are at high risk for suicide

  • Responds to referrals from staff members, Veteran self-referrals, the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), and other touch points to ensure that at-risk Veterans receive care and services.

  • Ensures that all VA staff members have received required discipline-appropriate suicide prevention training.

  • Collaborates with community organizations and partners to increase awareness of suicide prevention best practices and provides training to individuals who have contact with Veterans.

  • Provides general consultation to providers on available resources for suicidal individuals, as well as expertise and direction in the areas of system design to prevent deaths by suicide.

  • Works with providers to ensure that monitoring and treatment is intensified for high-risk patients while making sure that those who are at elevated risk receive education and support about approaches to reduce risks.

  • Reports to OMHSP on Veterans who attempted or died by suicide and sending OMHSP requested data, which is used to determine characteristics and risks associated with these groups of Veterans.

  • Makes sure that providers follow up on missed appointments to ensure patient safety for high-risk patients and initiate problem-solving decisions about possible tensions or difficulties in patients' ongoing care.

  • Ensures that facility has established a High-Risk for Suicide List (HRSL) of Veterans and a process for establishing Patient Record Flag.

  • In conjunction with the Suicide Prevention Program Supervisor, develops policies and standard operating procedures for program operation, ensuring compliance with the Joint Commission, Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and other accrediting bodies and regulatory standards as needed.

  • Completes and submits Behavioral Health Autopsy Program (BHAP) Post-Mortem Chart Analysis and Family Interview Contact (FIT-C) Forms according to facility, VISN and national program guidelines.

  • Participates and/or leads Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Teams concerning patients who have attempted or committed suicide upon request of the Patient Safety Manager (PSM).

  • Completes required number of suicide prevention of monthly outreach activities by distributing promotional materials, engaging with stakeholders at event awareness tables, and engaging with high-risk Veterans via the Caring Communication Program; working with Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) to encourage reporters to use safe messaging; providing VA S.A.V.E. and other gatekeeper training to community members.

  • Provides training to both clinical and nonclinical staff within VA to identify and respond to Veterans who are at increased risk for suicide; providing training to community organizations and staff who have contact with Veterans.

  • May be responsible for the program's budget, developing and monitoring staff compliance with practice, standards and guidelines on documentation, workload, data entry, ethical practice and service delivery. May be responsible for, or contribute to, the program's resource and fiscal management, monitoring control points developing the annual budget, operating within that budget, and accounting for appropriated funds.

  • Initiate and conduct a variety of program or service audits and complete designated clinical practice audits and reports, including productivity assessments.

  • Oversee program operations and evaluations, identifying areas for improvement, gathering relevant data, assessing the data, developing and implementing ideas for improvement and evaluating efficacy of improvement efforts.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 7:45 AM - 4:30 PM

Telework: Not Available

Virtual: This is not a virtual position.

Position Title/Functional Statement #:Social Worker

  • Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator/PD07034A

Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized

Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel

  • To conduct local outreach and trainings for the community.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

0185 Social Work

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  • Requirements



Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job

  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.

  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959

  • You may be required to serve a probationary period

  • Subject to a background/security investigation

  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English

  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process

  • Participation in the seasonal influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:

  • United States Citizenship. Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

  • English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 7403(f).

  • Education. Have a master's degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the School of Social Work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. Verification of the degree can be made by going to to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work.

  • Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. Current state requirements may be found by going to

May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

Grade Determinations: Social Worker (Program Coordinator), GS-12

  • Experience and Education. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Experience must demonstrate possession of advanced practice skills and judgment, demonstrating progressively more professional competency. Candidate may have certification or other post-master's degree training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship, or equivalent supervised professional experience.

  • Licensure/Certification. Individuals assigned as social worker program coordinator must be licensed or certified at the advanced practice level, and must be able to provide supervision for licensure.

  • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:

  • Knowledge of program coordination and administration which includes consultation, negotiation, and monitoring.

  • Knowledge and ability to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines for the program.

  • Ability to supervise multidisciplinary staff assigned to the program.

  • Skill in organizing work, setting priorities, meeting multiple deadlines, and evaluating assigned program area(s).

  • Ability to provide training, orientation, and guidance within clinical practice.

References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39, Social workers Qualification Standard dated September 10, 2019

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12.

Physical Requirements:Position requires moderate lifting (15-44 pounds); moderate carrying (15-44 pounds); reaching above shoulder, use of fingers; both hands required; walking (4-6 hours); Standing (4-6 hours); repeated bending (8 hours); Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; both eyes required; depth perception; ability to distinguish basic colors; ability to distinguish shades of colors; Hearing Aid is permitted; emotional stability.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit:

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Social Worker - Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator

Department Of Veterans Affairs