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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month - Don’t wait, reach out

One veteran death by suicide, is one too many.

Graphic states September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
What can the community do to help end the tragedy of suicide? Attend suicide prevention training offered throughout the state, both virtually and in person.
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service
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Let’s Talk …

To say it has been an honor and privilege providing care to veterans over the last 15 years of my nursing career is an understatement. Having started in home care and moving to a nurse manager role, it was not in the plans to head down a new path, but the opportunity was too good to pass up.

In 2018, taking on the community engagement and partnership coordinator position meant getting outside the VA walls, forming relationships with key stakeholders who have a passion for ending suicide and want to participate in a community-based suicide prevention coalition.

One veteran death by suicide, is one too many.

Each time a death by suicide occurs, it is estimated 135 are affected by the loss.

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Suicide Across the United States

45,390 American adults died by suicide in 2017, compared with 31,610 in 2005. In 2017, of these deaths 6,139 were veterans, compared to 2005, there were 5,787 veteran deaths by suicide.

In 2017, 43.2% of female veteran and 70.7% of male veteran suicide deaths resulted from a firearm injury. Of the non-veteran adult suicides 48.1% resulted from a firearm injury.

What can the community do to help end the tragedy of suicide?

Attend suicide prevention training offered throughout the state, both virtually and in person. Some examples include Question, Persuade and Refer. S.A.V.E., Make it Okay, Changing the Narrative and many others. Many times, these trainings are free, and the community is welcome to attend.

Join a suicide prevention coalition. These are grassroot community-based groups using evidence-based ways to develop training and promote action items that help to promote connectedness and hope. Crow Wing Energized has a veteran sub-group working towards ending suicide. Anyone with a passion to end the tragedy of suicide is welcome to join.

Attend the Mental Health Resource Fair planned for Oct. 29, at the First Lutheran Church; 424 S. Eighth St., in Brainerd.

The event is free but registration is required. Lunch will be served.

Registration link: Community Mental Health Resource Fair - Crow Wing Energized at https://bit.ly/3C9hweo .

Many of the trainings listed above will be offered at the fair, and there is no cost to attend.

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Suicide and Crisis Lifeline logo
When you contact 988, you don’t have to say who you are or where you are. You will get support from a trained counselor.
Contributed / Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide call 988, veterans press 1. When you contact 988, you don’t have to say who you are or where you are. You will get support from a trained counselor.

For more information, contact: Karen Johnson at Karen.Johnson@Essentiahealth.org or Laura Stumvoll at Laura.Stumvoll@va.gov .

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