Veterans Aware: Reducing, eradicating suicide plague on American spirit; public events

stock image, St. George News

OPINION – Suicide is an across-the-board problem in America. Latest statistics indicate that while homicide is the 13th overall cause of death in America, suicide is the 11th. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students, the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds, the eighth leading cause of death for males, and the 19th leading cause of death for females. Four times more females attempt suicide than males but four times more males succeed at committing suicide than females. Men are more likely to use guns while females are more likely to use drug overdosing and/or poison.

Americans who have served in the military forces’ suicide rate is a little over double the rates of those who did not serve in America’s military services. Interestingly, an oft-quoted statistic is that the suicide rate of those who did not serve in direct combat activities is four times the rate of those who did serve in direct combat activities.

Lynn Bjorkman heads the local chapter of REACH4HOPE, a coalition of people from many different organizations, occupations, and affiliations that stand committed to inform, mobilize, and actively promote suicide prevention.

Bjorkman’s coalition is sponsoring a number of activities and events that deserve your attention and participation. Please turn out to one, two, or all of these events to show your support of REACH4HOPE’s mission of taking a stand for the reduction, and even the eradication, of this plague on the American spirit.

Suicide prevention events:

  • Sept. 3 | 5 p.m. | Mayor Rick Rosenberg of Santa Clara presents a proclamation localizing Suicide Prevention Awareness Week | Santa Clara City Council Chambers, 2603 Santa Clara Drive, Santa Clara
  • Sept. 3 | 6 p.m. | LaVerkin Mayor Kerry Gubler presents a proclamation localizing Suicide Prevention Awareness Week | LaVerkin City Council Chambers, 435 North Main Street, LaVerkin
  • Sept. 4 | 5 p.m. | St. George Mayor Jon Pike presents a proclamation localizing Suicide Prevention Awareness Week | St. George City Council Chambers, 175 East 200 North, St. George
  • Sept. 8 | 7 p.m. | St. George Mayor Jon Pike kicks-off Suicide Prevention Awareness Week | SelectHealth Auditorium, 1424 East Foremaster Drive, St. George
  • Sept. 9 | 7 p.m. | Pine View High School hosts a panel of suicide survivors | Pine View High school Little Theater, 2850 East 750 North, St George
  • Sept. 10 | Noon | Dixie State University hosts “Hope and Healing” with Tina Hender, board member of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and two-time survivor of suicide loss, and Eva Beatty, LCSW | Gardner Center Room B
  • Sept. 11 | 7 p.m. | Learn QPR – Question, Persuade, Refer – techniques | SelectHealth Auditorium,1424 East Foremaster Drive, St. George
  • Sept. 27 | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. | “Out of the Darkness Walk” | Highland Park in Washington City | Register online here

Ed. note: Please email [email protected] with any additional events or resources in Southern Utah suitable for recognition during Suicide Prevention Month.


  • For more information about Suicide Prevention or any of these events, call 435-256-8351
  • REACH4HOPE website

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Bruce Solomon is an opinion columnist, a Vietnam Veteran and chairman of The Mayor’s Veteran Action Council for the City of St. George. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.



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