Washington, DC - Today, Second Lady Karen Pence participated in the launch of the PREVENTS National Health Campaign called REACH at the National Press Club. Mrs. Pence gave remarks to PREVENTS Taskforce members and leaders from veteran service organizations. As the Lead Ambassador for PREVENTS, she emphasized the need to address suicide and measures we can take to prevent it as well as the need to focus on one’s mental health and emotional well-being.
“Working together, we can implement the PREVENTS roadmap and end the national tragedy of suicide,” said Second Lady Karen Pence. “Experts say suicide is preventable and we can all play a role in helping support one another through tough times.”
The REACH campaign aims to empower veterans and all Americans to play a role in preventing suicide. The goal is to change the conversation about suicide and create an environment where people reach out to those who may be vulnerable. On average, 132 Americans die by suicide each day accounting for 47,173 suicide deaths in 2017, and in 2017 there was an estimated 1.4 million attempted suicides. For Veterans, the overall suicide rate is 1.5 times higher.
List of Speakers:
- PREVENTS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen
- Second Lady Karen Pence
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie
- Department of Defense Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan
- Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Jerome Adams
If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for confidential support 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255. Veterans and service members who need immediate help should call the 1-800 number and press 1, or text 838255
On March 5, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13861, establishing a three-year effort known as the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). The REACH public health campaign is a critical component of the PREVENTS Roadmap that will serve as catalyst to engage all Americans in preventing suicide. Click here to learn more.