ORWALL: “You know, what we find with the veteran population, especially those on our college campuses, is that the often do not want to go off-site for treatment, and we know they’re at higher risk.”
If today is an average day, 20 U.S. military veterans will take their own lives, and more than one out of 10 college students will entertain suicidal thoughts. Put those together and it’s clear, according to Washington state Representative Tina Orwall, that veterans on campus, more than most people, could benefit from a coordinated push to build widespread awareness of danger signs and suicide-prevention resources. Orwall, a Des Moines Democrat, is one step away from a vote by the full House on her bill to create Suicide Prevention in Higher Education Grants.
ORWALL: “We did hear from one veteran that when he goes on base, he sees information everywhere to get help, and when he goes to college, he doesn’t see any. We have to do a better job of making sure people know what to do when they’re in crisis so they can get the help they need.”
These kinds of programs are common in high schools, but strangely absent at colleges and universities. That will change if Orwall’s bipartisan bill can survive the next few weeks in an intense 2018 legislative session. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.