Adjutant's Updates

Suicide Prevention Allies

TO: MDVA Stakeholders and Veteran Suicide Prevention Allies

                                                                                                                               

Veteran suicide is a tragedy. In Minnesota, we lost more than 100 Veterans a year from 2014 to 2018 to death by suicide. But it is a tragedy that can be prevented with your help.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is working to prevent Veteran suicide. We are partnering with PREVENTS, the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide, to support coordinated suicide prevention efforts, prioritized research activities, and strengthened collaboration across the public and private sectors.

Minnesota has always been a leader when it comes to tackling challenging and serious issues such as Veteran suicide.

  • Governor Walz made preventing Veteran death by suicide a priority for the State of Minnesota and last year, he proclaimed that the first Saturday in October each year is Veteran Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day in Minnesota.
  • In March, Minnesota was selected to participate in the “Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families.” Multiple State agencies are now working collaboratively with other state, federal and local partners on this effort.

How can you help?

MDVA and the Governor’s Challenge team respectfully request your support by signing the PREVENTS Pledge. The PREVENTS pledge is a commitment to help change the national conversation around mental health and suicide by:

  • Learning about suicide risk factors, protective factors and warning signs:
  • Promoting and initiating conversations about PREVENTS’ resources, efforts and activities;
  • Supporting efforts where and how you can;
  • Sharing social media messages from PREVENTS;
  • Encouraging others to utilize PREVENTS’ resources;
  • Using safe messaging;
  • Inspiring other individuals to take the PREVENTS Pledge and REACH; and
  • Practicing and encouraging lethal means safe storage.

We encourage you, your employees and stakeholders to sign the PREVENTS pledge. For more information on the pledge and how to participate, visit the website: www.wearewithinreach.net/pledge/.

We want to make the PREVENTS pledge signing go viral in Minnesota! Please take a photo of yourself signing the pledge (either online at your computer or hand signing a printed copy) and email the photo to mdva.communications@state.mn.us by Tuesday, September 29.

On Saturday, October 3, the second annual Minnesota Veteran Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day, we will share a collage of these pledge signing photos via social media to demonstrate Minnesota’s broad commitment to ending Veterans deaths by suicide.

To learn more about free online training to understand and recognize Veteran suicide signs and symptoms, visit MinnesotaVeteran.org/EndVetSuicide.

Thank you in advance for your support, participation and commitment to increase awareness of mental health challenges and suicide prevention practices for our Minnesota Veterans, service members and their families.

 

Regards,

Larry Herke

Commissioner

 

Serving Minnesota Veterans and Their Families  | MinnesotaVeteran.org

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