HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Wolf Administration gathered at the YWCA Greater Harrisburg earlier today, Sept. 9, to help raise awareness about veteran suicide in recognition of September being known as National Suicide Prevention Month.
“Our veterans deserve our gratitude and our support for their service to our country,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “It’s important to show our thanks by providing critical resources to our at-risk veterans. My administration is committed to supporting our veterans in a variety of ways, including suicide prevention efforts.”
The Department of Aging (PDA), Department of Corrections (DOC), Department of Human Service (DHS), Department of Military and Vetrana Affairs (DMVA) and the YWCA Greater Harrisburg along with other veteran advocates gathered to raise awareness.
“It is important that we all continue to have discussions about suicide and let our loved ones in crisis know that there is hope,” said Dr. Daniel L. Jurman, DMin, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Advocacy & Reform. “Pooling resources and raising awareness is a strong approach to sending the message that we all care and that help is available. Through a number of initiatives, Governor Wolf has kept suicide prevention and behavioral health and wellness in the forefront, and his administration will work vigorously to reduce the number of veteran suicides.”
Gov. Wolf has started multiple programs for suicide prevention including a couple for veteran suicide prevention efforts. Leading the way for veteran suicide awareness is the federal Veterans Administration-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families, according to a press release.
Here are other multi-agency suicide prevention efforts that Gov. Wolf started:
- The Suicide Prevention Task Force- Goal is to develop the state’s suicide prevention plan, a long-term strategy to reduce suicide in Pennsylvania.
- Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters- This is an an anti-stigma campaign.
- The Governor’s Special Council on Gun Violence- This is led by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
If you are a veteran in crisis — or you are concerned about one — free, confidential support is available 24/7. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online.
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