By Cozette Eldridge 

W.P. Co. Field Representative

Monday was Veteran’s Day and many were happy to have a three day holiday weekend.                                                                                                                                 Coming from a military family, where for many generations, most of the men and several women served in the armed services. I’m thankful for those who served and are serving today. It is also a time for me to remember the friends who didn’t come home and a friend and cousin who committed suicide shortly after returning from Viet Nam.                                                                                                                      

Suicide is a crisis across America. Both active duty and retired veterans are committing suicide at approximately 20 per day; the highest group in the nation.                                                                                                                              The goal of VA’s suicide prevention efforts is to equip communities to help Veterans to get the right care, whenever and wherever they need it. A framework needs to be provided for identifying priorities, organizing efforts, and focusing national attention and community resources to prevent suicide among Veterans. Adopting a broad public health approach with an emphasis on comprehensive, community-based engagement is a much needed service.                                                 

The public health approach looks beyond the individual to involve peers, family members and communities in preventing suicide. This approach is grounded in four key focus areas:                                                                                                               Primary prevention: Preventing suicidal behavior before it occurs.                                

Whole health: Considering factors beyond mental health, including physical health, alcohol and substance abuse and life events.                                                         

Application of data and research: Emphasizing evidence-based approaches that can be tailored to fit the needs of Veterans in local communities.                            

Collaboration: Educating and empowering diverse communities to participate in suicide prevention efforts through coordination.                                                                                             

Be aware of changes in a family member or friend; depression, anger, withdrawal are common signs. Talk to the person and seek help for them. Contact VA, as they have made veterans suicide at top clinical priority.


NOVEMBER 18 -NOVEMBER 22                            

MON. Crab Salad, Lettuce/Tomato/Egg, Tomato Basil Soup, Garlic Bread, Fruit                                                                                                                                             TUES. Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Spinach, Bread, Tropical Fruit Mix                                                                                                                                                 WED.  Herb Crusted Pork Chop, Baked Yam, Green Beans, Roll, Pear                                                                                                                                            

THUR. Pepperoni Pizza, Garden Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Fruit                                                                                                                                           

FRI. Cheese Burger/Bun, Baked Beans, Vegetable, Melon, Birthday Cake