Sunday, June 23, 2024

Members of the public invited to get involved in Suicide Prevention efforts

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Data shows that Veterans account for 18% of total suicides in our state but only 7% of the total Washington population. Your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is working to combat this by cultivating community programs focused on providing peer services. Two new opportunities will create awareness and community involvement.

The first is a direct donation to the brand-new nonprofit account, Veteran and Military Member Suicide Prevention Account. Anyone can donate at any time, but a particular emphasis will be made as individuals apply for concealed pistol licenses through their local law enforcement agency or purchase a firearm at their federal firearm licensee and undergo a background check.

“WDVA is grateful for the assistance the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC) has provided in getting this information out to local law enforcement agencies and federal firearm licensees,” said Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, WDVA Director. “Through this collaboration, we will raise awareness and provide additional support to our communities.”

In addition to direct donations, a new license plate emblem is being finalized by the Washington Department of Licensing and WDVA and will be available for sale in the coming weeks. Individuals who are the registered owners of vehicles licensed in Washington State will be eligible to purchase the emblem which will display the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number. Ten dollars from the purchase of each emblem will be deposited into the Veteran and Military Member Suicide Prevention Account.

Funds provided to this account will be available to community organizations who provide suicide prevention, peer support, and other assistance to at-risk and transitioning Veterans, military members, and their families, in the form of grants. The focus for these grants will be on programs using peer support models.

WDVA is grateful to the many partners involved in Washington state’s suicide prevention efforts including UW Forefront, Safer Homes, the Washington Department of Health, Health Care Authority, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, as well as many others listed at https://www.dva.wa.gov/sp.

How to Donate: Follow this link: https://tre.wa.gov/news/donate-to-the-state-of-washington/ or use the QRcode and complete the online donation process with a credit card or bank account. Be sure to indicate that your donation will be going to: “27H - Veterans and Mil Members Suicide Prev Acct” Individuals needing immediate support can reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-8255. More information on WDVA’s Suicide Prevention Program is available at: https://www.dva.wa.gov/sp.


 

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