Mental health summit seeks to lower veteran suicide rates

1 week 3 days 12 hours ago Tuesday, September 10 2019 Sep 10, 2019 Tuesday, September 10, 2019 2:19:00 PM CDT September 10, 2019 in News
By: John Pottebaum, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The number of active-duty military suicides hit a record mark of 321 suicides in 2018 according to the military.

This is tied for the highest mark since the military began tracking the statistic in 2001.

The Truman VA Mental Health Summit met today with the goal of combating statistics like this one.

They aim to provide more resources to student veterans, such as peer support, empirically based treatments, and a new wellness center.

The VA recently opened the Veteran's Wellness Center in the MU law school to serve the 600 to 800 student veterans they believe are on MU's campus.

This is with the hope of lowering the veteran suicide rate, which is currently at 20 individuals per day according to the VA.

Although this number has lowered in recent years, one Truman VA representative said that it is still not enough.

"Any is too much. For a veteran or a civilian. And we want to figure out not only what the VA can do but what the community can do," Randall Rogers said.

Figuring out the root of these tragedies is the tricky part.

The suicide rate rose amongst Veterans and non-Veterans in 2018, according to the VA.

Experts debate whether suicide is a big issue in the military, or the result of deteriorating mental health in the United States in general.

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Kerr said that the military is focused upon because of the transparency they choose to adopt.

"It will get highlighted because we talk about it. We are open about it. We are open to what we are doing to help those young men and women as they struggle through various mental health or mental wellness problems," Kerr said.

Kerr has been in the military for 22 years.

Over the course of his career, four members of his unit have committed suicide.

However, Kerr believes that the military is doing all that they can.

"I don't think we have a problem. We are focused on making sure soldiers have resources they need to combat stress," Kerr said.

One student agrees with Kerr's stance.

Army ROTC Cadet Kimberly Woods sees the impact of mental health everywhere.

"I have seen just as many problems with my friends who aren't in the military as I have with people who are," Woods said.

Regardless of the cause, Kerr thinks that the VA and MU are doing all that they can.

"The VA is doing a pretty good job of it right now. And really focusing on how to help...It's a testament to MU's commitment to our veterans and to really just helping out in general," Kerr said.

Tuesday is World Suicide Prevention Day.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police announced Friday officers made an arrest in the homicide of E'quan Spain. Michael L. Anderson... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 10:46:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A crash involving three cars shut down a section of Providence Road Friday night. Columbia Urgent Care... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 9:34:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 6:09:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - The NCAA expected to hit the University of Kansas basketball program with multiple violations allegations. "After a... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 4:10:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Football fans at Battle High School on Friday experienced Columbia Public Schools' new policy preventing kids from bringing... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU students will pack Memorial Stadium to cheer on the Tigers during Saturday's SEC opener against South Carolina,... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 3:38:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public School District is replacing all of its trash cans with a three-tier waste system in all... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:20:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman and her late husband, who was killed by the suspect in four... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:11:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas confirmed Mayor Brian Treece suggested he resign over what became a criminal... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 11:45:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police are urging people not to leave grenades "just lying around" after the... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 11:23:32 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced a $1.5 million gift Friday, which will be used to help improve business... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 10:54:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in Top Stories
FULTON (AP) — Madeleine Albright says during a Missouri speech that democracy worldwide "appears to be in retreat." The... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 9:39:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A climate strike is taking place on the MU campus Friday at noon. It's part of a... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 9:38:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - A man was arrested early Friday morning after he attempted to evade arrest after a foot pursuit, according... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 8:49:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Parks and Recreation Department is getting ready for the Heritage Festival & Craft Show this weekend. ... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 3:13:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said they found seven shell casings in the southern part of the city late Thursday night. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:02:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - During the first week of Show Me Climate we've discussed many of the basics of our changing climate.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 9:02:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in Climate
COLUMBIA — The Columbia community came together Thursday night to remember the life of a Columbia College student killed in... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:55:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
3am 73°
4am 72°
5am 72°
6am 72°