Attention veterans, active duty service members, families and supporters. Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Nassau Veterans Health Alliance will host a free suicide prevention program entitled SafeTALK to assist residents in recognizing the signs and symptoms of suicide as well as methods of treatment and prevention. The program, part of the Mangano administration’s continued efforts to help those returning from military service readjust to civilian life, will be held on September 26th from 1:00pm-4:00pm at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, located at 1550 Franklin Avenue in Mineola.
“Many veterans suffer from war-related depression, emotional trauma, anxiety and brain injury which can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors,” said County Executive Mangano. “By providing methods of support and services to our veterans, we can help to save lives.”
According to mental health professionals, nearly one quarter of all veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms. National statistics indicate that approximately 22 veterans a day complete acts of suicide, an increase from 18 a day in 2007. In 2012, around one suicide a day was carried out among active duty service members. On Long Island, nine returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans either took their own lives or died from accidental drug overdoses last year. SafeTALK is designed to help inform and educate the average citizen on the signs and symptoms of thoughts of suicide. The goal is to identify persons contemplating suicide and to connect them with suicide prevention resources and forms of intervention programs.
“This is a basic course, where we can help keep an individual “safe” until professional help is available,” added John Javis, Director of Special Projects for the Mental Health Association of Nassau County, which includes the Veterans Health Alliance.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings, contact:
National Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (Push #1 if you’re a Veteran);
Mental Health Association of Nassau County: 516-504-HELP (9am-6pm every day.);
Long Island Crisis Hotline: (516) 679-1111 (24/7)
Nassau County, in conjunction with the Mental Health Association, will also be starting confidential “Vet-2-Vet” peer-to-peer networking groups to help veterans deal with war-related emotional trauma. The program, which has already had success in other parts of the state and nationwide, helps veterans having difficulty transitioning back into civilian life by creating small support groups that meet in anonymity, where veterans provide each other with mutual support, encouragement and resources.
Beginning the week of October 7, 2013, two “Vet-2-Vet” peer-to-peer networking groups will be held each week – with more to follow.
Information on services for veterans who are suffering from PTSD or other related disorders are available throughout the county at the following facilities:
Location: Mental Health Association of Nassau County
Veteran and family peer support groups, wellness Training and suicide prevention.
Contact:Lauren Hagemann, (516) 489-2322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Veterans Affairs VET Center 970 S Broadway, Hicksville
Free counseling to Combat Veterans and families
Call: (516) 348-0088.