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VA Centers Across Florida Try To Reach Troubled Vets Before They Consider Suicide

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

More than 20 veterans take their own lives every day in the U.S. and the majority never sought the help that was available to them.

VA Centers across Florida are trying to change that by reaching to vets and active duty service members who are struggling too.

This Friday the VA, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, will be holding Suicide Prevention and Awareness Fairs at all of Florida’s clinics, hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Katherine Eicher is the lead suicide prevention coordinator at the VA Clinic for North Florida and South Georgia.

“We are facing such a national crisis when it comes to veteran suicides, that is astronomical. Many are not even connected to VA healthcare systems.. 20% of all suicides and our veteran population is less than 9% of the overall population, so statistically this is off the charts.” said Eicher.

If you or a loved one needs help, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255. Or check out this website:

You can hear the full interview with Eicher on First Coast Connect.

Melissa Ross can be reached at, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.