JOPLIN, Mo. — Unless you’ve been in the military yourself, it’s hard to imagine what a veteran who’s been in combat has gone through. However, there is a way for friends, family members, and loved ones to try and help prevent a veteran from committing suicide.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Many of the people who try and take their own lives are veterans. That’s why the Veterans Administration is launching a free program called Be There. It’s designed to help civilians help the veterans they love from acting on thoughts of suicide.
Jenny Gano, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Veterans Administration, said, “For us as civilians or family members or we have a loved one who is a veteran just listening and talking with them and helping connect them and being there for the veteran and helping them makes a huge difference in their lives.”
As part of the program, civilians learn about the warning signs of suicide, what numbers or websites they can encourage their veteran to call, and even learn from social workers and or licensed psychologists tips on how to encourage their veteran to get help if they haven’t already done so. One of the best ways to prevent suicide is to give veterans a new purpose or mission once they leave the military. Like they do at True North Enterprises
Jimmy Burgess, Director, True North Enterprises, said, “The healing process is always on going, we always have good days and bad days.”
Between the for profit and not for profit ventures here, almost all of which are run by veterans, Burgess says there are about 25 former military men and women that have found strength in numbers.
“So many of us want to talk, some many of us want to try and help, but sometimes the help is just in listening just in realizing we don’t all share the same experiences but we all have the same point which is to have a good and happy life.”
For more information about the Be There program, follow the link below.