Released: September 13, 2023
Council spotlights Veterans during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month this September
Delaware County Council has issued a resolution recognizing September 10-16 as Veteran Suicide Prevention Week in Delaware County, dedicated to fostering a culture of compassion, understanding, and support for our brave Veterans and we urge all residents, communities, and organizations to unite in this mission.
This resolution spotlights the struggle of our Veterans and coincides with National Suicide Prevention Week, also held September 10-16., which recognizes the sacrifices made by our nation’s Veterans in service to our country and acknowledges the difficult challenges they often face upon returning to civilian life after bravely serving and protecting our country.
Veterans often carry the weight of their service long after their active duty ends. The transition to civilian life can be incredibly challenging, and many veterans grapple with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Unfortunately, these struggles can sometimes lead to thoughts of suicide.
According to a recent Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, the suicide rate among Veterans is 1.5 times greater than the non-Veteran population ages 18+, with over 6,000 Veterans dying by suicide each year. Despite accounting for just 7.9% of the population, Veterans account for 13.5% of all suicide deaths in the United States.
Veteran Suicide Prevention Week is a time for us to come together as a nation and raise awareness about the mental health issues veterans face. It's an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices made by these brave individuals and to express our gratitude by ensuring they have access to the mental health resources they need.
Delaware County Council, in coordination with the County’s Military and Veteran’s Affairs Department under the leadership of Col. Arthur Lee Jenkins and in partnership with the County’s Department of Human Services, strives to assist Veterans in the county who may be struggling with mental health issues.
During this week, communities, organizations, and individuals across the country engage in various activities such as educational seminars, outreach programs, and fundraising events to support veteran mental health initiatives. Together, we can send a powerful message: No veteran should ever feel alone or without hope.
Veterans in crisis and those concerned about one can call the confidential 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988 (then pressing 1). This line is available for veterans and active-duty military — even if they’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care. Support doesn't end with the conversation. Veterans Crisis Line responders will connect callers with the resources they need.
Veterans are warmly invited to two upcoming events designed to foster connection and camaraderie. Join us for a chance to bond, share experiences, and engage in meaningful discussions about the issues that matter most. Your presence will make these gatherings even more enriching.
Veteran Chat and Chew
Date: Sunday, 9/24/23
Location: Grace Lutheran Church 2191 West Chester Pike Broomall PA 19008
The Journey Home: Film Screening and VA S.A.V.E Training
Date: Monday, 9/25/23
Location: DCIU 200 Yale Avenue, Morton PA 19070 Room 150
Please RSVP by contacting Shardae Wescott at (484) 744-3269.
The Veterans Affairs website also includes a variety of helpful resources geared towards helping Veterans deal with feelings of depression, isolation, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, career challenges, health issues, living with disabilities, and more. Visit va.gov/reach/ for more information.
Delaware County veterans can also reach out to the County’s Military and Veterans Affairs Department online at https://www.delcopa.gov/vetaffairs/index.html, and by phone at (610) 891-4646 for general resources and assistance.
It's our duty as a nation to remember that the battle doesn't always end on the battlefield. By fostering a culture of understanding, empathy, and support, we can help our veterans heal and thrive in civilian life. National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week serves as a vital reminder of this commitment and a call to action for all of us to stand by our heroes in their time of need.