The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Office and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced today 42 states and one U.S. territory signed the PREVENTS state proclamation, pledging their prioritization of suicide prevention for veterans and all citizens in their jurisdictions.

Each state pledging promises to promote and amplify the REACH public health campaign that encourages everyone to reach out to those who are vulnerable and to reach out when they themselves are in need of help.

As part of the implementation of the president’s roadmap, the PREVENTS Office is meeting with state and community leaders in all 50 states and territories to ensure best practices for suicide prevention are identified and applied, efforts are coordinated within the state and federal government and the public health messages are promoted before the initiative concludes in March 2022.

In September, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs joined a nationwide effort to prevent suicide. Sponsored by the VA and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Mayor’s and Governor’s Challenges to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families bring together communities all over the country to support our nation’s heroes.

“Suicide is a national public health challenge that causes immeasurable pain among individuals, families, and communities across the country," said Gov. Kay Ivey. "Our veterans have made insurmountable sacrifices to protect our country and our freedom. We will stand with our veterans and commit to doing everything we can to prevent veteran suicide.”

Suicide is a complex national public health issue that affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 American adults, including more than 6,000 veterans, dying by suicide every year. The Alabama VA is proud to work with VA and SAMHSA in finding innovative ways to deliver support and care to service members and veterans whenever and wherever they need it.

The Alabama VA uses the public health approach by combining community-based prevention strategies and evidence-based clinical interventions to empower action and support service members and Veterans in Alabama.

“The national tragedy of suicide is a serious public health concern, and one that is preventable," said Alabama VA Commissioner Kent Davis. "It affects everyone. The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs is working hard to end service member and veteran suicide by engaging a wide range of partners from different sectors. It is our responsibility to take care of the people who have made monumental sacrifices for our freedom. We look forward to working with our partners over the next year on this important issue.”

Service members or veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a service member or veteran in crisis, can call the Military and Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text to 838255 or visit VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat to chat online.

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