Stopping veteran suicide

Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 3:31 PM CDT
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More than 20 veterans die by suicide every day in the United States. North Dakota's Veteran's Affairs Commissioner has challenged business leaders in the state to cut this rate down.

Brady Wolf is an Army veteran in Bismarck. After his service ended, he started the 2Vets Moving Company in town. Wolf says he has friends that have died by suicide that served with him.

"If I'd have made that one call, or if I had picked up on something they were saying, the way they were acting. Maybe I should have seen this coming or something. It's one of those things where the more you know the better chances you have of maybe helping somebody before they come to that point," said Wolf.

He says that he'd consider taking the challenge for his business.

"It definitely is an issue whether they say 22 a day, whether it is 22 a day, or one a day, or 30 a day. One is too many, so it's definitely a topic that needs to be brought more broad spectrum," said Wolf.

The Veterans Affairs Challenge has two steps. The first is saving the suicide prevention hotline on your phone. The second is watching a 25-minute training video online.

"First aid is for your physical emergencies, and I thought this save was more of a first aid training for your mental health emergencies, and I thought it's the same thing. It's just as important to save a life," said Lonnie Wangen, Veterans Affairs Commissioner.

Wangen says the challenge helps people in all walks of life, not just veterans.

The suicide prevention hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. The training video can be found here:​

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