September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. While we strive to bring awareness each day. This month is a time to emphasize the role we each can play. One of the most important things we, as a community, can do is normalize talking about suicide, reduce the stigma of suicide, and create a connected community that brings our service members, veterans, and family members (SMVF) together.
This month is a great time for all of us to reflect on why we need to prioritize suicide prevention. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the State of Nevada. In 2018, 94 Nevada veterans experienced death by suicide.
So, what can we do to help? Educate yourself with FREE courses like SafeTALK, A.S.I.S.T., and PsychArmor which can help us understand risk factors, strengthen protective factors, and know the resources available to support our SMVF. Take time to learn about the benefits and services that our veterans can access, check out the calendar of events, and connect with our Mayor’s Challenge teams in Las Vegas and Truckee Meadows! If you know a veteran who is not using or accessing VA benefits, we encourage you to connect that veteran with one of our Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) who can help them navigate eligibility and the filing process.
If you suspect someone is thinking about suicide, we want you to ACT: Ask them directly, respond with care, and connect them with treatment. There is free, confidential, and 24/7 help available with the Veteran Crisis Line by calling, texting, or chatting online. Our veterans are invaluable members of our communities, and we owe them our support and care.