Training program offered for veterans, service members and dependents

Sky Fought

There is one suicide every 18 hours among all active duty, reserve and National Guard members, according to NBC News in April of 2013. The military and veteran suicide rate continues to rise despite prevention efforts.

The Center for Adult and Veteran Services will be offering the annual Peer Mentor Suicide Training program Friday, Feb. 6. Veterans, service members, dependents and anyone who works with veterans on a regular basis can attend the training between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in room 303 of the Kent State Student Center.

Offered since fall of 2010, it was initially created due to the huge spike in suicides among veterans, particularly combat vets from the Marines and the Army, said Josh Rider, the director of the Center for Adult and Veteran Services and co-creator of the program.

“We’ve never had a tragedy like that here,” Rider said, “but we thought to get out in front of this we would make this mandatory for the officers and the Veterans Club to attend and any other veterans who want to attend.”

The program is a two-hour PowerPoint presentation facilitated by Kristen DeLambo from Kent State University Psychological Services followed by a working lunch. During the working lunch, participants will engage in one-on-one role-play activities as well as case studies to make the presentation more hands-on for attendees.

Rider said the goal of the program isn’t to turn the participants into counselors but to get them to recognize signs in fellow veterans and service members and learn when and how to report it. He said veterans are more likely to talk to each other about their problems than civilians.

“This program was created as a way to help them talk to each other,” Rider said. 

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