Local military suicide prevention managers team up for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

This week, Wyoming News Now will be bringing coverage from local military suicide prevention managers on a range of topics.
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 7:29 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - September is “Suicide Prevention Awareness Month” and this year, the Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Medical Center, F.E. Warren Air Force and Army National Guard suicide prevention managers are coming together to bring awareness to suicide prevention.

Throughout the week, Wyoming News Now will be speaking with local military suicide prevention experts about a handful of suicide prevention topics, and show Wyomingites how they can “Be There” for veterans and active duty members of the military. The managers will also be hosting the “1st Suicide Symposium” on Sep. 10.

The first topic covered this week is the affects increased alcohol and drug use can lead to.

When our soldiers come home from overseas, adjusting isn’t always easy. Sometimes these men and women turn to alcohol and drugs, according to the substance abuse and mental health services administration, it’s one of the highest risk factors for suicide.

“Alcohol and drug misuse are second only to depression and other mood disorders as the most frequent risk factor for suicidal behavior,” said 153rd Wyoming Air National Guard Director of Psychological Health, Cheryl Cameron.

Cameron said combat exposure and adjusting to life post deployment can play big roles in the misuse of alcohol and drugs.

“Alcohol intoxication and drug misuse may substantially increase the risk of suicide by decreasing our inhibitions, and increasing our depressed mood,” said Cameron.

“I really feel passionate about getting the word out, helping educate people that there are ways that we can deal with issues without getting to that point,” said Cameron.

Cameron said treatment for substance abuse is effective and she is passionate about helping Wyoming soldiers get help, if they need it.

Wyoming News Now will have more coverage throughout the week about Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. For active duty military and veterans, if you need help, you can call the military veterans crisis line at 1-800- 273-8255.

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