McKenzie County increasing veteran suicide awareness through ‘ND Cares’ program

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT
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WATFORD CITY, N.D. (KUMV) - Recent studies show that about 19 veterans commit suicide every day. It’s a disturbing statistic that McKenzie County wants to bring awareness to.

The horrors of war are real to many of North Dakota’s veterans. Sometimes it becomes too much, and that’s why the ND Cares Coalition wants them to know that there is help available.

“We have had veterans in our own county that have taken their lives because no one reached out to them. No one got them the help that they needed. They didn’t access the support network that was there,” said Mark Honstein, veteran service officer for McKenzie County.

McKenzie County has been a part of this statewide initiative since 2016, placing a sign at the entrances of Watford City. Emergency Manager Karolin Jappe plans on having more signs placed on every town and highway through the region.

“My hope is when they see these signs every time they come into our county or any other county, that there is help for them and that we are a caring state. That we will go above and beyond to get them the help that we need,” said Jappe.

To every veteran out there, their message is that you are not alone.

“You can reach any county courthouse to call the veteran service officer. All veteran service officers are more than happy to help them. We also have organizations like the American Legion and VFW,” said Honstein.

Another way to seek help is to contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

For more information on ND Cares or how to seek help, visit

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