Saturday, November 9, 2013
By Mary Jo Gibson
First and foremost, I’d like to thank our men and women in uniform, our nation’s veterans, and their families for their service and heroic sacrifice to our country. As a co-chair of the Congressional Spouses for Suicide Prevention and Education and a spouse of a retired soldier, I’m taking the opportunity this Veterans Day to join the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in raising awareness of the problem of suicide among our active military, veterans, and their families.
It is important we recognize suicide and address it as a public health crisis. Suicide is currently the 12th leading cause of death in New York and an estimated 20 percent of those completed suicides are among veterans. Help begins with a conversation and being aware of suicide risk factors and warning signs is the first step. We can make a difference by knowing the immediate protective actions that can help save a life.