Local veterans walk 22-miles to raise awareness for veteran suicide

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FLORENCE, Ala. – Several Shoals veterans walked 22-miles to raise awareness for veteran suicide on Veteran’s Day.

Florence Police Department shared photographs of FPD Officers Snell and Browder walking with another veteran.

“Thank you to all the Veterans today and remember, you are not alone.”

Veterans die by suicide at a substantially higher rate than the general population. That is truer in Alabama, with a suicide rate for veterans that exceeds national figures.

The first thing to know, if you are considering suicide, or are concerned that a loved one is considering suicide, you’re urged to call:

The Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, and Press 1. There are trained counselors and resources immediately available. 

Warning signs

Dr. Robert Campbell, chief of mental health for the Birmingham VA, told WHNT News 19 earlier this year there are a number of warnings that can signal a veteran is considering suicide, including:

  • Depression
  • Increasingly risky behavior involving drugs or alcohol
  • Giving away treasured possessions
  • Looking for a new home for a pet
  • Talk of death or suicide

Campbell said those conversations about death, while difficult, can be an opportunity to help.

“Bringing up that conversation or even talking directly about suicide, that doesn’t increase suicide risk,” Campbell said. “So that’s important for people to know, it’s OK to kind of directly talk about it.”