WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2016 —
The Defense Department is working with media, nongovernmental organizations and the federal sector to focus on suicide prevention.
In a media roundtable here today, Keita Franklin, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, moderated the event with members of the media, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Organization of Broadcasters and the Entertainment Industries Council in attendance. The roundtable was an effort to encourage people to seek help when they are in crisis, and call the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255.
“September is Suicide Prevention Month,” Franklin said, “… but make no mistake; it’s an all-year, all-hands effort all the time. In September we will push off a year-long campaign in collaboration with the VA … with the theme, ‘Be There.’”
She added: “It’s being there for one another, for your fellow service member, your family, for yourself when you have a need. So reach out and get help.”
The Suicide Prevention Month theme mirrors today’s military culture, Franklin said, one in which service members rely on each other for help.
“We see that as a strength and hope that folks will continue to be there for one another,” she said.
Suicide Prevention Month will kick off Sept. 7 with a 9:30 a.m. event on the Pentagon’s second floor, Apex 9 and 10.