Businesses and others help distribute materials to prevent veteran suicides

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GOSHEN – Orange County District Attorney David 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 650 Orange County businesses, events and organizations have distributed Veteran’s Administration anti-suicide materials throughout the 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 the county are alarmingly high, said Hoovler.

Nationwide, about 17 veterans succumb to suicide every day. Veteran suicide rates are 50 percent higher than non-veteran suicide rates.

Over the last year, 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 coalition has also attended several events with the same message.

“The response was nothing short of fantastic,” said Hoovler. More than 650 stores, events, businesses, and organizations are displaying Veteran Crisis Line resources in the form of cards, magnets, stickers, posters, coasters, pill organizers, hankies, bookmarks, and stress balls to increase awareness and promote access to this important resource for veterans in crisis. The coalition also distributed over 4700-gun locks, an option for veterans and others to use, should they decide to, to reduce access to a firearm for the veteran during a time of crisis.

The DA said 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 20,000 Veteran Crisis Line awareness resources were distributed before this past Veterans Day weekend to the public in our area.