JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) To help prevent and bring awareness to the issue of veteran suicide, State Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, has filed the “Veteran Suicide Prevention Resolution”, modeled after the Buddy Check 22 program, which encourages people to connect with past and present members of the military on the 22nd day of each month.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 22 veterans nationwide die by suicide every day. The incidence of suicide among Missouri veterans is much higher, with a rate that outpaces the national average by about 13 percent. Statistics from 2016 showed Missouri veterans took their own lives at a rate of 34.1 per 100,000 population.
“Suicide affects all Americans, but rates of suicide are much higher among veterans and active duty personnel,” Sen. Schupp said. “The Buddy Check 22 program will help let veterans know that we care about them, we value their service and their life, and we are here to help. Each of us can play a role in ending suicide, and the Buddy Check 22 program is a great way to make a difference.”
Support systems and social connectedness are shown to promote good mental health. The goal of the resolution is to build on that concept and bring awareness to the tragedy of veteran suicide in Missouri.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 30 designates the 22nd of each month as Buddy Check 22 Day in Missouri to promote education and awareness of the problem of suicide among military personnel.