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February 10, 2016

Equipping Families and Friends of Veterans 

Due to the overwhelming statistics concerning suicide and trauma amongst our brave veterans SMA Behavioral Healthcare, our local Department Veterans Administrative Services and the Wounded Warrior Project are partnering to provide a training to assist family and friends of Veterans to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma and suicidal ideation.

The most extensive study yet by the U.S. government in 2012, Suicide Data Report from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Mental Health Services Suicide Prevention Program reports:

  • Suicide among military veterans shows more veterans are commiting suicide than previously thought, with 22 deaths a day - or one every 65 minutes, on average.
  • About 8,030 deaths a year
  • U.S. military acknowledged that suicides hit a record in 2012, outpacing combat deaths, with 349 active-duty suicides - almost one a day.
  • More than 69 percent of veteran suicides were among individuals aged 50 years or older, the VA reported.
  • Only 10-14% of suicides had adequate doses of antidepressants!
  • Only 1 of 3 seek help
  • Veterans suicide rate is more than double the rate of the civilian population with about 49,000 taking their own lives between 2005 and 2011
  • Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared to a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000.
  • The suicide rate among veterans increased an average 2.6 percent a year from 2005 to 2011, or more than double that of the 1.1 percent civilian rate According to Source: News21’s analysis of states’ mortality datahttp://www.publicintegrity.org/2013
  • Suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death in the U.S. military. The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of 2012 outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan by about 50 percent. According to Source: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2014 Florida-Veterans
  • “Military, veteran suicides account for nearly one in every four in Florida”


Increasing the number of “Gate Keepers” (those who know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide and trauma) in our community will assist in the decrease of our military personnel harming themselves.

According to the U.S. Army Warrior Ethos: “A real warrior will always place the mission first, never accept defeat, never quit and never leave a fallen comrade!”

But what if he does all that, then has problems when he gets back home? What if he has post-traumatic stress disorder or nightmares or feels distant from his family?

Our community can create its own Ethos by Never Leaving a Fallen Comrade by becoming equip to save the lives of those who have given their lives.  Let’s show our military personnel how important they are to us by soldiering up as an advocate to help them.

Please join us for Never Leave a Fallen Comrade Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sensitivity Suicide Prevention Training on March 11, 2016 in Daytona Beach. The training is free or a donation may be provided if desired. Continuing Education Credits will be available.


Registration link below provides easy access to training:

Seats are limited.
To register go to: http://never-leave-a-fallen-comrade.eventbrite.com
For More information contact vkress@smabehavioral.org 386 254 1241

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