Missouri Veterans Commission News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2022
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Veterans Commission has joined Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri National Guard, Missouri Department of Economic Development, and the Office of the Military Advocate in the You Are Worth the Battle Campaign (YAWTB). The campaign is designed to educate and train Missourians on how to identify and help service members, Veterans and their families (SMVF) experiencing a mental health crisis. YAWTB provides resources, training opportunities, and practical steps to take before, during, and after a suicidal crisis. By educating the public, SMVF stand a better chance of getting the help they need. You are WORTH the Battle aims to give every member of the community resources and practical advice on how to handle someone in crisis and what to do if you need help.
The U.S. Department of Defense recently reported that suicide rates among active-duty military members in 2021 have been at the highest level since the Great Depression. There were 176 confirmed or pending suicide deaths for active-duty military in 2021, and 174 the year prior. According to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention annual report, Veterans accounted for 6,261 of 45,861, or about 14% of all U.S. adult suicide deaths in 2019. Veterans currently account for approximately 7% of the total U.S. population. There were also 202 military family members’ deaths in 2019 linked to suicide.
To find mental health resources aimed at active duty, veterans, and their family members, please visit the Missouri Benefits and Resource Portal. The Portal is a service guide designed to help Veterans and military personnel find local resources for everything from mental health to employment and more. You can also visit dmh.mo.gov/veterans/ to find behavioral health providers who specifically work with Missouri’s Service Members, Veterans, and their families.
The State of Missouri is committed to doing its part in ending suicide among military members, Veterans, and their families. A mental health crisis can happen at any time to anyone. Join us on our mission to help educate and train our communities on suicide prevention techniques. Remember, You Are Worth the Battle.
For more information, call 573-522-4228 or e-mail Aimee.Packard@mvc.dps.mo.gov