ADVA brings awareness to veteran suicide with new campaign
Two state agencies and colleges and universities around the state are coming together to bring awareness to suicides among veterans.
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and the Alabama Department of Mental Health are partnering with seven schools in Alabama for a newly established veterans suicide prevention awareness campaign.
The purpose of “Operation We Remember” is to serve as a visual reminder that suicide knows no boundaries. The participating schools will display 152 American flags on their campuses during the month of September, which is also National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The 152 American flags honor and remember the same number of veterans in Alabama who lost their lives in suicide in 2020.
The seven schools participating include the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University, Jacksonville State University, Shelton State Community College, University of North Alabama and the University of Montevallo.
In addition to the American flags on those campuses, 152 flags will be on display at Riverwalk Stadium from September 7 to September 11, which is the last home game of the Biscuits’ regular season.
“We are excited about this new campaign and to continue the discussion for this important topic within the Veterans community,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “Suicide prevention is never an easy subject or an enjoyable conversation, but we hope this visual display will show the reality of how many Veterans have those invisible wounds and help create impactful, long-term change.”
“Supporting our Veterans with mental health resources that are accessible and compassionate is crucial. Nearly 18 percent of individuals who die by suicide in Alabama are Veterans. Through resources such as 988 and the Crisis Centers, we hope to help Alabamians find help, begin the path to recovery, and save lives,” said ADMH Commissioner Kimberly Boswell.
To learn more about well-being resources for veterans, visit VetsForHope.com