Monday, September 17, 2012

Preventing Suicide Among Veterans

Preventing Suicide Among Veterans
by KREX News Room
by John Dias
Story Created: Sep 17, 2012

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Suicide is a crisis faced by too many veterans, and the Grand Valley is no exception. With September being Suicide Prevention Month, the Department of Veterans Affairs is stepping up its efforts.

Since day one, the VA has made a commitment to suicide prevention, but over the last couple of years, has taken a more public approach.

According to officials, nearly 18 veterans take their own lives each day across the country.

Though it's hard to tell exactly what the numbers are on the Western Slope, officials say the number is higher than other locations.

VA officials are trying to reduce the number by providing easily available support right away through their crisis line.

“When we look at the numbers, we know that they are high, you can't explain that away,” said Sonja Encke, suicide prevention coordinator at the Grand Junction VA. “When working with individuals that are having thoughts of suicide, treatment and talking about it goes a long way.”

Encke says what makes an effective crisis center work is mainstreaming suicide prevention, and letting people know there is support available.
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