Veterans’ Affairs Committee meets to discuss suicide prevention programs


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – According to the National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, an average of 17 veterans take their own life every day.

On Monday, the West Virginia Legislature’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee met to discuss various suicide prevention programs. People who spoke at the meeting say, one way to prevent veteran suicides is to have more support within the veterans family.

“There’s state and federal agencies already deeply invested in helping with veteran suicide, yet every year we still lose 50, 60 sometimes more veterans to suicide.”  said, Daryle Bayless, the Director of Operations for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance.

Others who spoke at the meeting say, one way to increase prevention is to offer more support to veterans’ families. “When we think of our veterans, we often times forget their families. And it is a unit, it is a collective, cohesive unit that makes up that veteran.” 

Those who are passionate about the issue, say they want the legislature’s help in bringing attention to the issue. “After we figure out where we might possibly help, we’re going to suggest to the legislature and to the governors office the best steps ahead, and see where we go from there,” added, Bayless.

And Wood adds, “To support that veteran and military community which most importantly the spouse and their dependents and that’s something that I think we as West Virginians in the state can do a much better job of and something that as we progress with the Legislature, we’re going to be able to do just that.” 

And they offer this advice to anyone who might be struggling. “If a veteran or the family of a veteran or anyone that knows a veteran is experiencing a crisis or thinks they might be at risk of self harming call the Veterans Crisis line.” 

To find the Veteran Crisis Line number, go to this link and follow the directions.

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