‘Don’t wait, reach out’: New PSA launches in an effort to prevent veteran suicide

Veterans Voices

(KXAN) — A new public service announcement and website will roll out ahead of Veterans Day.

“It is meant to help military veterans get the help they need by “offering resources before a crisis to avoid a crisis,” said Dr. Matthew Miller. He is an Air Force veteran and National Director of Suicide Prevention at the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.  

According to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report, the suicide rate among veterans in 2019 was 52% higher than non-veteran adults. 

The partnership between the Ad Council and the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs is called “DON’T WAIT, REACH OUT.”

“I think this offers a unique perspective,” said Dr. Miller when discussing the series of videos put together by the Ad Council. “They have spent over a year talking to veterans and speaking to veterans, what’s on their minds with regard to life, with regard to suicide prevention. What has emerged through this campaign is a veteran and a voice through it.”

Heidi Arthur with the Ad Council says the focus of the videos and new website VA.gov/reach is suicide prevention.

“You’ll see real veterans telling what they go through in their everyday life. You’ll see people talking about it. You’ll see it’s important to reach out and not wait until things hit the boiling point.  You don’t have to go through this alone and people care.”

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