In September, 2018, we set out to open the conversation surrounding suicide in honor of National Suicide Awareness Month. In doing so, we partnered with a group of incredible Veterans in the San Diego area and with the help of a very special civilian Sara Correll, we created a series called The Power of a Story: Conversations Around Veteran Suicide. Little did I know that the time how truly powerful this topic was and how authentic and vulnerably those I interviewed would share. The series took off and is now a regular topic on the podcast!
When we started this series, the statistic stood at more than 20 Veterans take their own life EVERY DAY. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, Veterans are TWICE as likely as civilians to die at their own hands. And sadly, those numbers still stand.
But, we are still fighting the fight and taking steps to help bring an end to Veteran and First Responder suicide. We are HONORED to continue to showcase some of the men and women who are fighting to keep our Veterans alive and thriving. By sharing their stories of struggle and heartbreak comes stories of healing and resilience. And we hope that these stories help others find their way to the light.
We can’t help anyone if we are not talking about the problem. By opening a dialogue and having authentic conversations surrounding the challenges and stigma, solutions and resources appear. As a civilian, I can never really truly know the horrors and inner demons these brave men and women face. But by listening to their powerful stories, I now have an understanding…a glimpse of their challenges and have already applied some of this knowledge in my professional life.
If you or someone you know may be thinking of suicide, please contact the Veterans Crisis Call Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, Text 838255, or visit the episode pages for more resources.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!