Disabled Veterans National Foundation Calls for Added Focus on Suicide Prevention in 2015

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The organization believes that more should be done to address this major national crisis.

Disabled Veterans National Foundation

Disabled Veterans National Foundation

“Educating service members about the warning signs of suicide should only be one part of the solution," said DVNF CEO Joseph VanFonda, (USMC Sgt.Maj. Ret.)

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (http://www.dvnf.org), a nonprofit veterans service organization that provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom, is calling for an enhanced push for military and veteran suicide prevention in 2015.

Recent reports from the Department of Defense revealed that there was a small increase in active-duty suicides in 2014. While there was major drop in military suicides from 2012 to 2013, the slight increase in suicides in 2014 is somewhat discouraging.

In 2012, there were a shocking 352 military suicides. That number dropped to 286 in 2013, and went up to 288 in 2014.

However, the 2014 numbers do offer one positive result in that there were fewer Army and Marine suicides, the branches who have seen the most combat action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Joseph VanFonda (USMC SgtMaj Ret.), the CEO of Disabled Veterans National Foundation, believes that while many measures have been taken by the Pentagon to address the problem, much more can and should be done.

“On the surface, many will point the finger to PTSD, or something combat-related,” VanFonda said. “Educating service members about the warning signs of suicide, and removing the stigma associated with seeking help should only be one part of the solution. Service members with financial and family stress have consistently been among the most likely to take their own lives, so more proactive measures need to be taken to address these problems before they start.”

VanFonda pointed out that military service can be extremely difficult on families, and even more so on financial wellbeing. He believes that more can be done to prepare service members for hardships they can potentially face.

About DVNF:

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

We achieve this mission by:

  •     Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
  •     Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of DVNF.
  •     Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources.
  •     Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community, and educating the public accordingly.

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