MONTGOMERY, AL (STL.News) Governor Kay Ivey announced Friday a new statewide suicide prevention initiative for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF).
Governor Ivey was joined at the Alabama State Capitol by members of Alabama’s Challenge for Preventing Suicide Among SMVF to introduce the initiative, which aims to create an impactful, long-term outcome across the state. In attendance were members from the Alabama Legislature and representatives from the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama National Guard, and non-profits including Still Serving Veterans and Veterans Recovery Resources.
“Once someone has served our great nation, we owe it to these great men and women to help them enter civilian life,” Governor Ivey said. “I can think of no better way to say, ‘thank you for your service’ than ensuring these heroes and their families have access to mental health resources when in need.”
Alabama’s Challenge is an aligned effort between the legislative Task Force on Veterans’ Suicide and the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among SMVF, which share a significant overlap in goals and team membership. The efforts were aligned in March 2021 through HJR 28, which also extended the Alabama Task Force on Veterans’ Suicide created by HJR 151 through the last legislative day of the 2022 Regular Session.