Federal REACH Program Seeks to Reduce Veteran Suicide Rates
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 18, 2020 – A new federal initiative was recently launched to reduce suicide rates and raise awareness of mental health issues during quarantine, especially for veterans. The program, called REACH, urges Americans to reach out to others to reduce the isolation and stress associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
REACH will utilize digital ad campaigns to share the message that help is available and suicide is preventable. The effort will last for two years and cost an estimated $53 million. It hopes to normalize mental health and calls on businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and nonprofits to help end the stigma surrounding mental health and illness by talking openly about it.
“Veterans were at increased risk of suicide and mental illness before the pandemic,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans, a VA disability firm in Northville, Michigan. “Now, with COVID-19 spreading, social distancing efforts in effect and the economy suffering, many feel isolated and stressed, which is not healthy for anyone.”
Every day around 20 veterans and servicemen and women commit suicide. This is 1.5 times the rate of civilian suicide. Data shows that an average of 14 of the 20 veterans who commit suicide every day are not under the VA’s care, meaning they miss out on critical mental health care services tailored to veterans from VA facilities and programs.
Those involved with the REACH program, including Second Lady Karen Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, encourage Americans to check in with loved ones, friends and others to be sure their needs are being met and not be afraid to have difficult or uncomfortable conversations about mental health. It could be the difference between life and death for someone who is struggling.
Adams continued with another unrelated but no less important point, wearing a mask. He emphasized the critical role a mask plays in reducing transmission of COVID-19 and that this will only help programs like REACH achieve its goals by helping curb pandemic-related isolation.
For more information on Legal Help for Veterans, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.