Suicide Prevention Is Everyone’s Business: VA and Johnson & Johnson PSA Calls on The Nation to #BeThere for Veterans at Risk

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Mental health experts discuss the role community plays in addressing the tragedy of Veteran suicide.

As we approach the holidays, we all have the opportunity to reach out and support the Veterans and service members who risk their lives for our country. It is our responsibility as a nation to be there for these individuals when they need us most.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at:

An average of 20 U.S. Veterans a day die from suicide.

Suicide is preventable through connectivity and community support, and each of us has a role to play. To mobilize the nation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partnered with Johnson & Johnson on a public service announcement, “No Veteran Left Behind.” Narrated by actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, the PSA calls on the public to take notice and action by reaching out to a Veteran who may be in crisis.

In partnership with Johnson & Johnson and US Department of Veterans Affairs, D S Simon Media and YourUpdate.TV conducted a nationwide media tour featuring David W. Hough, MD, Physician Researcher, Neuroscience Janssen Research & Development, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company, and Keita Franklin, LCSW, PhD, Acting National Director VA Suicide Prevention.

Dr. Hough and Dr. Franklin discuss the stigma surrounding mental illness and the significance of building better support systems for those who may be facing mental health challenges. They also encourage the public to join the conversation by using #BeThere on social media, and by visiting for more information.

To get involved, Johnson & Johnson is encouraging people to donate to Headstrong, a non-profit organization that provides cost-free and confidential mental healthcare to Veterans across the country, by uploading a photo to the Donate a Photo app. For every photo, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to help Veterans receive a full psychiatric evaluation and begin their journey toward getting life-saving treatment.

iCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. National Suicide Statistics. Accessed September 12, 2017.

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Michael O’Donnell
D S Simon Media
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