Veterans and Suicide

Veterans & Suicide

Suicide rates among veterans, and enacting policy change

By, Patty Cole

May 25, 2018

Last week, I wrote about the workshop we held on suicidal desperation. This week, I would like to refer you to two resources for more information.

Memorial Day is on Monday, and we take the time to think about and pray for our men and women who have died in active military duty. This may lead you to also think about those who have returned home and may be struggling with mental health issues. Indeed, the suicide rate amongst our veterans is alarming. There can be as many as twenty veteran suicides a day. The VA tracks Veteran suicide – the results are concerning. Access the full report here 

While it is important to be informed on suicidal desperation, it is also important to know how to help. The following article by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) speaks of becoming an advocate on behalf of suicide prevention and mental health issues. In some states, suicide prevention legislation has been passed successfully.

Excerpt from the AFSP:

“AFSP organizes impassioned and informed advocates across the country to lead the fight in making suicide prevention a legislative priority. This past year, AFSP hosted a Federal Capitol Day and 34 State Capitol Days in which volunteers encouraged state and local elected officials to support priorities including expanded suicide prevention education in schools, required training for clinicians, and increased access to mental health crisis resources for all.

One example of AFSP volunteers successfully enacting policy change this year was in Utah, where suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34, and one person dies by suicide on average every 14 hours. AFSP advocates not only served on the Utah Governor’s Task Force on Youth Suicide Prevention; they also were instrumental in successfully passing suicide prevention legislation.

Help empower AFSP to continue to advocate on behalf of suicide prevention and mental health legislative issues.”

Earlier this year at our church, we spoke of being the church, fighting for the powerless, and speaking up for those who have lost their voice. Working as an advocate is one way of doing just that. We continue to pray for all of those who are affected by suicidal desperation, during this month of Mental Health Awareness and beyond.