Suicide is a national public health issue that affects everyone, but especially our veterans and service members, who are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than non-veterans.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Locally, we are fortunate to have the leadership of the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, home to the Veterans Crisis Line, a free and confidential resource for veterans and service members who are in crisis.
This support is available to all veterans, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. If you are a veteran or service member in crisis, or are a family member or friend concerned about a loved one, there are trained and caring VA responders ready to help.
Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. Or text 838255. Online chat is also available at VeteransCrisisLine.net.
I am urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign my bill that will improve the reporting of veteran deaths by suicide so we have better data that can help us assist more veterans in crisis. Senate bill S.2036B passed the Senate and Assembly this year. Thank you to Wayne Thompson and the Finger Lakes Veterans Advocacy Council for their instrumental work on this legislation.
Let’s continue to support and look out for one another. God bless our veterans and the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces.
Senator, 54th District
P.S. Help is also available for non-veterans. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides support for everyone. Call 1-800-273-8255. Check with the county where you live to find local resources, too.