Drive for Life Veteran Suicide Awareness Campaign to Put Faces on Epidemic

By: Warrior Research Foundation
DUMFRIES, Va. - Oct. 22, 2015 - PRLog -- Two Warrior Research Foundation executives will put a human face on veteran suicides during their Washington, DC, to California Drive for Life Veteran Suicide Awareness Campaign, Friday, Oct. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 1.

WRF Executive Director Shelia Kirkbride and Deputy Director Summer Watson, PhD, will talk to veterans and their families along the way, discussing with them about the impact suicide has had on their lives and the lives of those they love. The qualitative data (measurement expressed not in terms of numbers, but rather by means of a natural language description) by reaching out to our veterans and their families will add to the quantitative data collected by WRF and other organizations on the impact of suicide in their lives.

By driving cross-county, meeting with veterans and families along the way and documenting the discussions on video, the two hope to raise awareness of the increasing epidemic of veteran suicide, the need for continuous support of quality research to identify the issues affecting our nation’s veterans and to offer supportive solutions.

"We believe the answers could lie in this qualitative data,” Kirkbride said. “We want to know, in their own words, how we can best help them.”

The U.S. military community faces what advocates refer to as a suicide epidemic. One in two veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars say they know a fellow service member who attempted or committed suicide, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Health poll. Across all branches of the military and the reserves, a disturbing trend is being recorded. A recent study published in the Psychiatric Services Journal indicates a small number of studies – limited to veterans who used services provided by the Veterans Health Administration – observed a 42 to 66 percent increase between 2000 and 2007 in relative risk of suicide compared with the general U.S. population. This study also found that between the years of 2000 – 2010, the female veteran suicide rate increased 40 percent.

We lost more veterans to suicide in 2012 than died in to combat. In 2015, veteran suicide accounts for 22.2 percent of suicides. As expressed by Dr. Watson, “we are familiar with the numbers, but what we want is to connect with the folks that this issue is affecting. We want to understand their lived experience and effectively meet their needs.”

The WRF Drive for Life itinerary is as follows:

Friday, Oct. 23 – Leave from Stafford, Virginia, and travel to Columbia, Missouri

Saturday, Oct. 24 – Leave from Columbia, Missouri, and travel to Denver, Colorado

Sunday, Oct. 25 – Leave from Denver, Colorado, and travel to Salt Lake City, Nevada

Monday, Oct. 26 – Leave from Salt Lake City, Nevada, and travel to San Francisco, California

WRF will be in the San Francisco/Bay Area Oct. 27 and 28

Thursday, Oct. 29 – Leave San Francisco area and travel to Flagstaff, Arizona

Friday, Oct. 30 – Leave from Flagstaff, Arizona, and travel to Little Rock, Arkansas

Saturday, Oct. 31 – Leave Little Rock, Arkansas, and travel to Nashville, Tennessee

Sunday, Nov. 1 – Leave Nashville, Tennessee, and travel back to Stafford, Virginia

Warrior Research Foundation is made up of military family members, spouses, veterans and people who have a passion for supporting military families. Founded in 2013, Warrior Research Foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to pursue opportunities to support the mental and physical needs of our active duty military, veterans and their families. Our vision is to identify the current and changing needs of our military by way of research. With supportive collaboration with other organizations who share like missions, we can meet the needs of our veterans and their families. Through our research, we aim to identify the needs of our families and offer direct service support and advocacy.

Tom Pfeifer
Consistent Voice Communications LLC
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Tags:Veterans Suicide, Helping Wounded Warriors, Research Veterans Issues
Location:Dumfries - Virginia - United States
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