William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Vets Rock in Rockford and Madison
Members of the community are encouraged to participate in the "Vets Rock" awareness event during the month of September to promote Suicide Prevention Awareness month.
For those in the Madison area, every Tuesday during the month of September at the Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Hospital from 1130a-130p, everyone is invited to stop by the Suicide Prevention booth at the VA Farmers Market outside the main entrance at 2500 Overlook Terrace to paint an encouraging word or phrase on a rock to support Veterans in need.
Everyone in the Rockford area is encouraged to plan to participate in the activity every Friday from 12n-2p in Room 154 at the Rockford VA at 816 Featherstone Drive in Rockford, IL to contribute.
According to Lead Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Andrea Bailey, LCSW, "Once the rock is painted, they can take it and put it in a public space to be found, give to someone who needs it, or leave it for us to place in a rock garden for Veterans."
Bailey added, "The idea is that by putting these out in the community, it provides an opportunity for a person in need of hope and encouragement to find it just when they need it."
It is widely reported that 20 Veterans die by suicide each day, but 14 are not enrolled in VA healthcare. The VA continues to work within the community to promote the theme that "Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business."A free, educational presentation is available to increase understanding of risk factors for suicide and what to do to help someone in need. If your business or community organization would be interested in scheduling a free training, please contact 608.256.1901, ext. 11778 for more information.