You Are Not Alone

About Us

We are veterans, community leaders, educators, clergy, and first responders who took ownership of the problem of veteran suicides at the community level. By sharing resources and information at the community level we create organized outreach efforts to identify at-risk, isolated veterans and assist them in obtaining resources to improve their lives by encouraging their participation in community activities, organizations, and events promoting veterans' wellbeing. Our efforts are fact and data-driven through informed dialogue with VA mental health, Department of Defense active military, Reserve and National Guard as well as State Health Department professionals and participation in the Governor’s Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Our efforts include outreach, peer to peer connections, group meetings reinforcing “you are not alone” concepts advancing the three key components of prevention through self-worth; community, faith, and resilience.

Vietnam Memorial

The Issues

Military Soldiers Saluting

Our priority is the tragedy of veteran suicides: For more than a decade, US Government agencies have reported that on average twenty-two (22) veterans commit suicide every day in America. What that meant, in context, was that every year 8,030 veterans were taking their own lives adding up to 160,600 over the twenty-year period since 9/11/2001 while the total loses of the military in combat in the war on terror was 6,866 through 2018 [2,294 in Afghanistan and 4,572 in Iraq]. On average US Government statistics also indicate that 913 military personnel are killed annually in non-combat operations. So suicide deaths of veterans are about 7 times greater than total active military service deaths.

Efforts by VA to deal with this issue include installation of the National Veteran Crisis Hotline, educational efforts through VA Mental Health Units, and most recently adding mental health care at Community Based Outreach Clinics. But top-down efforts are difficult to calculate particularly since during the same period VA said that 76% of veterans who commit suicide are not in the VA Healthcare System.

Our initiative began almost six years ago to identify veterans at the local level with outreach efforts to bring those veterans into the system and provide resources to assist them before they are in crisis. Those efforts have reduced the at-large suicide rate by 33% locally and by 55% for veterans locally.

The most recent data according to VA is that veteran suicides now average 20 per day and approximately 70% of those who commit suicide are not in the system. If those statistics are correct then the collaboration between top-down efforts together with community-based initiatives are working.

The Solution

Not surprising, what we found is that nothing works so well as one veteran talking to another. No fancy credentials are required, just the willingness to 1) reach out and 2) be a friend. No one understands a veteran as well as another veteran, so we are in a unique position to help.

But it takes the entire community to identify those who may need assistance. Many veterans are not in the system at all, they are not joining Veteran Service Organizations (VFW, AmVets, American Legion, Disable American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, etc) or filing claims with County Veteran Service Officers. Some who might be members of these organizations are reluctant to ask for help.

Community initiatives, therefore, must begin with public education at all sectors of the community: government, law enforcement, higher education, service organizations, churches, and employers. As we expand geographically, we plan to assist communities with training in how to recognize those in need, how to relate to them, obtaining available resources, and who they can trust to shepherd them to the resources.


How to Help

Send us a message from the Contact page, tell us a little about what you want to do and what you have to work with and we will help you get started…whatever it takes. If you like, you can tag along with us, or get up and running on your own with a brand new 501(c)(3) status.

  1. Get Involved

    Some of the best ideas are local in your own area, so invite people who care to a cup of coffee and brainstorm. We can help with this too. You can turn to us for total guidance or take what you like and leave the rest. We will do our best to give you whatever help you need.

  2. Request Speaker

    We have several speakers available to help you get started or to speak to your community about veteran suicide prevention. Let us know what your needs are. Click here to get in touch.

  3. Learn How to Help a Veteran In Need

    There are online courses from PsychArmour and SAVE to train individuals and/or groups. You can also contact us and we can do a live presentation.

Disabled American Veterans Logo

We are proudly associated with Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an organization focused on providing help for disabled veterans and their families. You can learn more about them by clicking the button below.

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