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Orange County NewsFor Immediate Release Contact: Ryan Greenbaum November 17, 2022 845.615.3657, 845.415.0868c
District Attorney Hoovler and Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition
Thank Businesses and Others Who Helped Distribute
Materials to Prevent Veterans from Harming Themselves
District Attorney Hoovler joined Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System to create a Coalition to Prevent Veterans from Committing Suicide
Over 650 Orange County Businesses, Events and Organizations Aided in
Distribution of Veterans Administration Anti-Suicide Materials
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, and Carl LoFaro from the Hudson Valley VA Health Care System, announced that the Orange County Coalition to Prevent Veteran Suicide, aided by over 650 Orange County businesses, events and organizations have distributed Veteran’s Administration anti-suicide materials throughout Orange County and surrounding areas. In November 2021, District Attorney Hoovler joined with the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System to form an Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition. Suicide numbers in Orange County are alarmingly high. Nationwide, about seventeen veterans succumb to suicide every day. Veteran suicide rates are fifty percent higher than non-veteran suicide rates. In an effort to reduce this sad statistic, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office partnered with the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System to create the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Over the last year, the Orange County Coalition to Prevent Veteran Suicide has been visiting local stores, businesses, and organizations, in, around and near Orange County, to ask for their help in preventing veteran suicide in their communities. In addition, the Coalition has attended several events with the same message. The response was nothing short of fantastic. More than six hundred and fifty stores, events, businesses, and organizations are displaying Veteran Crisis Line resources in the form of cards, magnets, stickers, posters, coasters, pill organizers, hankies, bookmarks, and stress balls to increase awareness and promote access to this important resource for veterans in crisis. The Coalition also distributed over 4700-gun locks, an option for veterans and others to use, should they decide to, to reduce access to a firearm for the veteran during a time of crisis. Research shows that barriers between a person with suicidal thoughts and the means to carry them out saves lives. In addition to gun locks, over 20,000 Veteran Crisis Line awareness resources were distributed before this past Veterans Day weekend to the public in our area.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler and Mr. Carl LoFaro of the Hudson Valley VA Health Care System remind everyone that both veteran and youth suicides are a big problem in Orange County and across the country. Fortunately, community members can be part of the solution by learning about the warning signs of a mental health crisis and how to access the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line.
The response from Orange County’s residents has been overwhelming. Orange County has the highest percentage of veterans in the Mid-Hudson region. Many businesses have already shown support for service members and veterans by giving veterans discounts. Whether they are veteran-owned and operated, like Monroe’s Amendola’s Pizza and Restaurant, or institutions like Benny Haven’s Pub in Highland Falls, which has been serving West Point Cadets since before the Civil War, these businesses have one thing in common they all are eager to help end veteran suicide in their communities. Many Orange County businesses and organizations also have relatives or friends currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces which is another reason for the outstanding support given to the Coalition. Government offices and law enforcement agencies have also been essential partners. Firearms dealers have been crucial partners in the distribution of gun locks to veterans wanting this resource.
“I am very proud this Veterans Day weekend that the people of Orange County have always shown such strong support for our veterans and active-duty military,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “When you see Veteran Crisis Line resources on a store counter, take one for yourself, and a veteran in your life, and mention it to the owner that their actions on behalf of veterans are appreciated.”
Listed below, in no particular order, are some of the over 650 stores, events, businesses and organizations that are helping the Orange County Coalition to Prevent Veteran Suicide by handing out Veteran Crisis Line resources. The Coalition apologizes if they inadvertently missed any business or group that is helping hand out Veteran Crisis Items, your help is appreciated by the people of Orange County, our veterans and the Coalition.
The Coalition’s work is just beginning. In a few weeks, the Coalition plans to put out Veteran Crisis Line resources in even more places to reach even more veterans. We want to speak to groups in person about preventing veteran and youth suicide as well as contacting other businesses with veteran clients to share these important resources. If you would like additional Veteran Crisis Line materials to display in your business or organization or have questions, please contact Mr. Carl LoFaro by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will quickly send you resources.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Hudson Valley VA Health Care System specifically thank the following for all for their efforts on behalf of our veteran community in Orange County, New York:
Veterans Service Organizations
Restaurants, Delis, Taverns and Ice Cream Stands
Restaurants, Delis, Taverns and Ice Cream Stands Continued
Various Retail Businesses
Youth Activity Centers
Beer – Wine – Spirits
Schools – Museums – Churches
Haircare and Salons
Clubs & Organizations
Gyms & Golf Courses
Police & Government Agencies