During the last fiscal year, a total of 126 San Diego veterans attempted suicide and 22 of them succeeded according to Veteran Affairs officials. In advance of the United States National Suicide Prevention week from September 9 to September 15 and simultaneous to the beginning of the 14th European Symposium of Suicide and Suicidal Behavior in Tel Aviv, Israel, on September 3, 2012, the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) has implemented new programs in its effort to save a life.
“VASDHS is increasing its mental health resources to help Veterans deal with stressful issues that may contribute to suicide:
- Over the summer, 32 clinicians were hired to provide faster service for mental health appointments.
- VASDHS also introduced web camera mental health teleconferencing last spring at VA outpatient clinics for Veterans living too far from their VA medical center.
- VASDHS will expand this program on Sept. 4 to provide secure mental health appointments directly at a Veteran’s home via webcam. Advantages include better convenience, and more expanded reach to Veterans who are confined due to injury.
- VASDHS plans to open up the Aspire Center in early 2013. The center will provide residential Veteran treatment for mental health issues.”
San Diego does not only consist of one of the largest populations of military personnel in the United States but also of an international community which is following the first day of the 14th European Symposium of Suicide and Suicidal Behavior in Tel Aviv.
Similar to the VASDHS’s new program of integrating modern technology in the fight against suicide, the symposium in Tel Aviv is using YouTube and the internet (Video) in order to share the newest research about suicide and suicide prevention.
There is no greater unifier than the effort to save a life.
“Israeli-Arab colleagues as well as clinicians from the Palestinian Authority have confirmed their participation at ESSSB14″. (Tel Aviv)
The media center of The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the importance of that unification.
“World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. On average, almost 3000 people commit suicide daily. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives…At the global level, awareness needs to be raised that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. Governments need to develop policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. At the local level, policy statements and research outcomes need to be translated into prevention programmes and activities in communities.”
With its newly released statistics to the public and already implemented programs, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs medical system in San Diego already shows its commitment.
With the publication of the National Suicide Prevention Week Information & Media Kit “Collaborations in Suicidology: Bridging the Disciplines” for September 9 – 15, 2012 provided by the American Association of Suicidology in Washington, D.C.,
“Crisis Centers, Schools and Colleges, Community Mental Health Centers, Hospitals, Private Treatment Facilities, Churches, and Corporations and Businesses”
are prepared in the fight against suicide on a local, national, and international level. All that is needed now is the public to know so everyone can join in the global fight – and save a life.
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