Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Maryland Health Care System


Health Watch: Fall Winter 2017-2018

Suicide Prevention

Raising Awareness of Veteran Suicide:
Help is Available

Suicide prevention is everyone's business. Wondering where to start?

Visit www.veterans

If you are a Veteran, you'll find a variety of resources. If you want to support a Veteran, you'll find ways you can help make a difference as well.

Raising Awareness of Veteran Suicide: 
Help is Available
A display of 600 tiny flags at the Perry Point VA Medical Center offers a instant reminder of the number of Veterans nationwide who commit suicide each month.

On a sunny day in September, volunteers placed United States flags one by one in the ground at the entrance to the Perry Point VA Medical Center, each symbolic of an individual Veteran. When they finished, on display were more than 600 flags, representing the number of Veterans nationwide who take their own lives each month.

According to the latest data, an average of 20 Veterans a day die from suicide in this country. That's a slight decrease from the previous number of 22, but whatever the number, even just one preventable Veteran death is one too many.

"Flags for Forgotten Soldiers" led a group to create the flag display. Founded in Cincinnati by a father who lost his Veteran son to suicide, the "Flags for Forgotten Soldiers" aims to raise awareness of the number of Veteran suicides, and the help that is available for Veterans through the VA and other groups. Similar displays are being created across the country. At Perry Point, Veterans and VA employees, including Nikole Jones, the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the VA Maryland Health Care System, joined in the efforts to build the display, which remained in place for a full month.

"I'm grateful for this opportunity to come together and show our Veterans that we care. I think as Veterans, VA staff and others turn the corner and see this display, they'll realize how important it is to check in with one another," said Jones. "Our motto for suicide prevention this year is 'Be There' and this helps show our Veterans that we care, that we want them to be aware that we are here, and we want to help. Together we can reduce the risk of suicide."

Back to Index