LETTER: Suicide seminar delivers powerful messageOn April 15 VFW Post 10818 sponsored a suicide prevention seminar that was help at the Community commons auditorium. The suicide prevention training information session was titled a “Silent Veterans Epidemic.”
To the Editor:
On April 15 VFW Post 10818 sponsored a suicide prevention seminar that was help at the Community commons auditorium. The suicide prevention training information session was titled a “Silent Veterans Epidemic.”
As the seminar session unfolded we realized that the Armed Forces were about the only organization to document and publish the scope of the “Silent Epidemic” (i.e. The Army Times reports 18 suicides a month among the active Army), the third Special Forces report losing more soldiers to suicide than to combat.
Out of respect for confidentiality civilian organizations do not, and probably cannot, publish similar reports.
However, we did learn that approximately 260 emergency calls per year were received within our county related to suicide concerns.
The Veterans Crisis Line is a toll free, confidential resource that connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with Department of Veterans Responders. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to receive free confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and you will be talking to a person, not a recording.
We wish to thank our panel, consisting of Mary Jo Pine, RN, and Pam End of Horn, MSW, both from the VA hospital, suicide prevention unit; Merlin Blaisdell, county veterans’ service officer; Sheriff John Shilts; and Sheila Mummert, EMT. A very special thank you to the young lady from the New Richmond High School for singing solo the national anthem.
Robert Aufderhar, VFW 10818
Chairperson, suicide prevention project