Graphic - Clark College News and Events

Clark College News and Events

October 29, 2009

For Immediate Release

For additional information: 

Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing Telephone:  360-992-2921

E-mail:  bkerr@clark.edu




Operation SAVE banner

On Monday, Nov. 9, Clark College’s Mental Health Mondays series
will focus on suicide prevention among America’s veterans


VANCOUVER, Wash. – In honor of Veterans Day 2009, Clark College’s Mental Health Mondays series will focus on suicide prevention and America’s veterans.

Robert Tell, LCSW, Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Portland Veterans Administration (V.A.) Medical Center, will speak about “Operation SAVE” on Monday, Nov. 9.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Penguin Student Lounge, located in the college’s Penguin Union Building.

Clark College’s main campus is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.  Maps and parking directions are available at www.clark.edu/maps.

In “Operation SAVE,” the acronym “SAVE” summarizes the steps needed to take an active and valuable role in suicide prevention.

  • Signs of suicidal thinking

  • Ask questions

  • Validate the person’s experience

  • Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help

Individuals who participate in the forum will learn:

  • The scope of the problem of suicide in the veteran population

  • The importance of suicide prevention

  • The negative impact of myths and misinformation

  • How to identify a veteran who may be at risk

  • Some of the signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking

  • How to effectively communicate with a suicidal veteran

  • How to gather information to help the veteran

  • Basic veteran safety procedure

  • How to refer a veteran for evaluation and treatment

A presentation by the Canandaigua (New York) V.A. Medical Center noted that male veterans are twice as likely as civilians of either gender to commit suicide.  The same report noted that 1,000 suicides occur per year among veterans receiving care from the Veterans Administration.  More alarmingly, 5,000 suicides occur each year among all living veterans.

About Robert Tell

Robert Tell graduated from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration with a master’s degree in social work. He worked in community mental health in Chicago and as an outpatient therapist at the University of Chicago Hospitals in the department of psychiatry. Since joining the Veterans Administration (V.A.), Tell has worked in mental health research and as a general and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) therapist.  He is the coauthor of an article on publication bias which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. Since 2007, he has been the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Portland V.A. Medical Center, serving Northern Oregon and Southwest Washington.

About Mental Health Mondays

The “Mental Health Mondays” sessions are sponsored by the Clark College Counseling Center.  For additional information, call 360-992-2902.



Pixel Shim