Suicide Is Not an Isolated Event and It’s Preventable

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta addresses the audience at the fourth annual DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference June 22, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Clinical psychologist David Barry, a lieutenant commander with  U.S. Public Health Service, summarized the Department of Defense and VA Suicide Prevention Conference:

“Throughout the conference, speakers emphasized the point that suicide isn’t an isolated event, and it’s preventable.”

Barry writes about the progress he witnessed at the annual conference and notes the support from leadership.

  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called for pioneering and breaking “new ground in understanding the human mind and human emotion”
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius spoke of removing “any distinction between behavioral and mental health”
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs EricShinseki called to target and prevent substance abuse as a means to prevent suicide and veteran homelessness.

You can learn more about the Defense Centers of Excellence programs aimed at preventing suicide HERE.

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