Recently, the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Cincinnati VAMC) honored local suicide prevention coalitions for their part in suicide prevention. Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS) was honored for our work through the Coalition for a Drug-Free Clermont County as well as Vice President Diane Wright's participation on the Hamilton County Public Health Suicide Fatality Review Committee. #GCBHS also participates in the Clermont County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
According to the VA, veterans between ages 18–44, are extremely vulnerable with suicide being the second-leading cause of death for that age group. An overwhelming amount of these deaths are by firearms. Jane Johnson, the Executive Medical Center Director in Cincinnati noted that 4X more veterans have died by suicide post 9/11 than have died in combat.
The event was held to thank those in our community who are helping reduce the rates of suicide and bring attention to this important issue. Locally, our VA works with 45 coalitions and partnerships throughout Greater Cincinnati. Various members of the VA's behavioral healthcare team expressed gratefulness for their community partners who are often the ones coming into contact with veterans who are struggling with mental health and suicidal ideology.
The ceremony was held Friday, October 20th at the VA Medical Center on Vine Street. Each person was called up individually and given a challenge coin made especially to signify their efforts in suicide prevention. Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services is proud of our partnership with the VA and of our staff who are committed to ending death by suicide.