Earlier this week the Polk County Board of Commissioners proclaimed that September would be Military Suicide Awareness Month and Thursday, September 8, will be Military Suicide Day in an effort to bring attention to a growing problem.
In recent years, military suicides have reached numbers four times higher than that of combat deaths. It is estimated that a veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes, which is 22 suicides per day, 7,300 suicides per year, and makes up 20 percent of all American suicides.
To bring awareness to this issue, 22 yellow ribbons have been placed on light poles near the Polk County Courthouse.
The Polk County Commissioners join the Polk County Memorial VFW Post #9116 and the Auxiliary in urging all active and former military personnel and their families to seek help for behavioral health issues.
Military personnel are encouraged to seek help to restore balance in their lives, as well as the lives of their families by engaging in stress relief activities, maintaining a buddy system of support so that no soldier stands alone, remembering the importance of self-care by engaging in activities that improve the state of mind, asking for help from a professional, being aware that help is available through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Administration and Suicide Prevention hotlines.
For more information, click here.
The Polk County Veteran Services Office phone number is 828-894-0003.
Also, there’s a 24-7 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline that anyone can use, simply dial 988. Here’s the website for additional info.