October 09, 2012

Sen. Joe Manchin focuses on veteran’s health services | The Elkins Inter-Mountain

With military suicide rates at record highs, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., added his voice to major suicide prevention efforts from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

The Army held a global, service-wide "stand-down" to combat the alarmingly high suicide rate among our nation's servicemembers and veterans. The departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense have been focusing on communicating with veterans, as well as their friends and family, who might be the first to recognize a veteran or servicemember in crisis.

"Even one military suicide is too many, and there is nothing more devastating to me than knowing that some of our most courageous servicemen and women come home and find themselves in psychological trauma," Manchin said. "These men and women are our heroes plain and simple. We must never forget their patriotism, their courage and their sacrifices. They've risked their lives so that we can continue to enjoy our freedoms every day.

"It is a duty, and more importantly, a privilege to fight for our veterans when they return home, just like they fought for us day in and day out," Manchin said. "There is no shame in asking for help, and no one should suffer in silence. I know that the health and wellbeing of our veterans is a top priority for all West Virginians and Americans."

Manchin encourages veterans to call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net or text 838255 for information. These services offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to veterans, their families and friends.