OSU display and walk for veteran suicide prevention awareness

OSU display and walk for veteran suicide prevention awareness

STILLWATER, OK (KSWO) - Statistics that show 20 or more veterans take their own lives in the U.S. each day. Oklahoma State University will focus on veterans suicides this September as part of National Suicide Prevention Month.

"One suicide is too many and we can do our part to increase awareness and help those who provide assistance to our veterans," said Richard Hansen, director of the OSU Office of Veteran Student Academic Services. "Our intent is not to shock, but to prompt a dialogue on campus and in our community about this tragic problem, which impacts an increasing number of civilians as well as veterans in the U.S."

The campus will display the grim reality of mental illness among U.S. veterans and conduct a walk in support of veterans and active duty service members. Twenty-two pairs of boots near the entrance of the Student Union Theater from September 6 through the 12 will serve as a reminder of the veteran suicide statistics. Each pair of boots will include a fact about suicide in the U.S., where the total number of suicides has risen by 23 percent since 2001, making it the tenth leading cause of death among Americans, according to the Center for Disease Control.

OSU Student Veterans Organization is partnering with the Red Dirt Military Moms for the second annual Warrior Walk Against Veteran Suicide on September 17, at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater. The community is invited to participate.

Ninety percent of the $22 registration fee to join the walk will go to the Red Dirt Military Moms for veteran's assistance operations that include sending care packages to deployed military service members, providing health and comfort items to homeless veterans, and visiting veterans in nursing homes and hospitals. Everyone is invited to participate and help support the Red Dirt Military Moms. You can register for the walk online at www.warriorsforfreedom.org/2016stillwater.

For more information, contact the Office of Veteran Student Academic Services at (405) 744-1390 or email richard.hansen@okstate.edu.

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