Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was joined Wednesday by officials from the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance to announce a new veterans suicide prevention program.
The program is called Mountain State 22 program. The goal is to highlight issues that prompt suicide among veterans and reduce the number of veterans’ suicides.
According to a press release from the Governor’s office, Mountain State 22 is the first state-managed program in the country directed specifically toward curbing veterans’ suicides. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said the program is vitally important.
"We owe it to those who have given so much in service to our state and nation and to the families who proudly stand by their side to do everything in our power to give them the support they need as they transition back to civilian life," Tomblin said.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs studies, the national average for suicides in the U.S. is 22 per day. Mountain State 22 will also include education and public awareness initiatives designed to reach veterans and their family members. There were eight reported suicides in 2015 among West Virginia Veterans.