Reducing Veteran Deaths this Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
By Daily News
September 9, 2019
"Broken by battle, wounded by war. My love is forever to you, this I swore. I will quiet your silent screams, help heal your shattered soul, until once again, my love, you are whole."
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month should serve as a reminder for all of us to look out for the most vulnerable members of our communities, many of whom become suicidal following life experiences that most of us can hardly fathom. Military veterans are one of the groups most at risk for suicide, facing a much higher rate than the average American adult does, even as suicide rates for the general public have risen to their highest levels in modern and recent history.
As of a 2015 report from the Pew Research Center, Latinos made up approximately 12 percent of the U.S. military, a rapidly growing contingent, so military suicide prevention will likely become a growing concern for the Latinx community in the years to come.
A few weeks prior to this year’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano called upon the nation to consider veteran suicides an urgent national crisis, demanding a “nation-wide stand-down” in order to implement effective strategies that will immediately save veteran lives. He cited the fact that Congressional action has been insufficient in addressing this national crisis. “That’s why I’m calling for VA to hold a nation-wide suicide stand-down within the next 15 days so every leadership executive, administrator, nurse, doctor, and employee across VA understands how to identify veterans in crisis and get them the help they need,” he said in a statement late last month. He pointed out that there is no national director or leader in this initiative, a predicament that certainly has handicapped any campaigns to reducing suicide deaths among veterans. read it here