Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, and Carl LoFaro from the Hudson Valley VA Health Care System, announced that the Orange County Coalition to Prevent Veteran Suicide, aided by over 230 Orange County businesses and organizations have distributed Veteran’s Administration anti-suicide materials throughout Orange County and surrounding areas. In November 2021, Hoovler joined with the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System to form an Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition. Suicide numbers in Orange County are alarmingly high. Nationwide, about seventeen veterans succumb to suicide every day. Veteran suicide rates are fifty percent higher than non-veteran suicide rates. In an effort to reduce this sad statistic, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office partnered the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System to create the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Over the last few weeks the Orange County Coalition to Prevent Veteran Suicide has been visiting local stores, businesses, and organizations, in, around and near Orange County, to ask for their help in preventing veteran suicide in their communities. The response was nothing short of fantastic. More than two-hundred-thirty stores, businesses and organizations are displaying Veteran Crisis Line resources in the form of cards, magnets, stickers, posters, coasters, pill organizers, and stress balls to increase awareness and promote access to this important resource for veterans in crisis.
The Coalition also distributed over 1650 gun locks, an option for veterans and others to use, should they decide to, to reduce access to the firearm for the veteran during a time of crisis. Research shows that barriers between a person with suicidal thoughts and the means to carry them out saves lives. In addition to gun locks, over 6000 veteran crisis line awareness resources were distributed.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler and Mr. Carl LoFaro of the Hudson Valley VA Health Care System remind everyone that both veteran and youth suicides are a big problem in Orange County and across the country. Fortunately, community members can be part of the solution by learning about the warning signs of a mental health crisis and how to access the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line.
The Coalition’s work is just beginning. In a few weeks, the Coalition plans to put out Veteran Crisis Line resources in the ice cream shops and garden centers when they open for the spring to reach even more veterans. We want to speak to groups in person about preventing veteran and youth suicide as well as contacting insurance companies and other businesses with veteran clients to share these important resources. For additional Veteran Crisis Line materials to display in your business or organization or questions, contact Carl LoFaro by email at email@example.com.
The Coalition also distributed over 1650 gun locks, an option for veterans and others to use, should they decide to, to reduce access to the firearm for the veteran during a time of crisis. Research shows that barriers between a person with suicidal thoughts and the means to carry them out saves lives.