The LRJ Foundation honors and recognizes the sacrifices our Veterans and their families have made. About 20 Veterans a day take their own life. Sadly, these statistics have not changed in near a decade.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are about 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than those who haven’t served in the military. The reasons vary by person, though PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and the effects of TBI (traumatic brain injuries) can uniquely affect members of this group. And, like elsewhere in society, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things harder.
If you’re a veteran coping with such challenges and possibly considering suicide — or if you know a veteran is — help is available.
Military Times tells us that the good news is that a national strategy to reach better and provide mental health care and resources to former service members is on the cusp of being deployed. With the passage of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, landmark legislation to address this heartbreaking situation, we can empower groups and organizations with proven records of success to expand their ability and available resources to foster healing and provide vital support. This will save lives and help veterans process trauma in a safe and caring environment.
What gives us such a high level of optimism for a significant reduction in the rate of suicide among veterans is the fact that an initiative we authored was included in the broader measure that President Donald Trump signed into law last month. The IMPROVE Well-Being for Veterans Act, which we originally introduced in June 2019, has been described by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie as the “key” to unlocking the problem of veteran suicide.
With this law, we are poised to create a new grant structure and program, enabling the VA to conduct additional outreach by partnering with veteran-serving nonprofits.
(Image created by Martina Watson, LPC)
Here are some articles that are informative and supporting our Military and Veterans.