Veteran Services hosts suicide prevention training

Samantha Meisenburg

The Center for Adult and Veteran Services (CAVS) held its annual Peer Mentor Suicide Prevention Training with psychologists Pamela Farer-Singleton and Pamela J. Wind leading the event. 

“Our main goal for the presentation is to talk about what situations and challenges student veterans find themselves in. To talk a little about awareness of some psychological disorders like PTSD, depression, and bipolar, that can put a person at a higher risk for suicide,” Wind said.

Farer-Singleton wants to take “a broader approach to teach the veterans to recognize the signs of mental health concerns as well as behaviors that might be disruptive and difficult for a veteran.”

The training program provides information on signs and symptoms of mental illness and allows the veterans to participate in several scenarios, both as the person in distress, as well as the person providing help.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, it is assumed 22 veterans may take their life each day. Project 22, a film about creating awareness of the high rate of suicides amongst Veterans, was shown at the training event.

“And what we are hoping to get out of this video, is for the veterans to understand they are not alone in this and to know there are resources available to them, that can help them get through the PTSD and thoughts of suicide,” said Rebecca Gerken, a higher education graduate student and intern for the CAVS office.

Farer-Singleton said to prevent suicide, we need to educate our community and not be hesitant to tell someone, even though sometimes we do not want to step on others toes or invade in people’s privacy when we see them in distress.

 “The whole point of educating the community is so they are aware of how to approach people, how to observe and determine when someone is in distress, and how to help them,” Farer-Singleton said.

Wind hopes that the veteran’s main takeaway from the training program is to understand it is okay to intervene.

“It’s okay to ask about suicide, very specifically if someone sounds like they are heading down that path,” Wind said. 

Sam Meisenburg is a reporter for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected].