October 29, 2009
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, APR
SAVING VETERANS’ LIVES
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
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.