A special $500,000 annual allocation from the Legislature finances CORE, Crisis-management Outreach Referral and Education, to provide military suicide prevention services for veterans.
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The Fragile Future of Military Suicide Prevention

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With more and more soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the increased demand for military support services, including suicide prevention, stretches the federal military budget thin.

A special $500,000 annual allocation from the Legislature finances CORE, Crisis-management Outreach Referral and Education, to provide military suicide prevention services for veterans.

But increased demand from military service members who are deployed, or returning home from war into a jobless economy, make it likely that budget will be depleted.

CORE: HIGH DEMAND, REDUCED FEDERAL FUNDING

Military suicide prevention programs are critical during times of war.

CORE (Crisis-management Outreach Referral and Education), operated by Lutheran Social Services and Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, provides veterans at risk with local and phone support.

CORE offers military service members a lifeline: immediate psychiatric care, and service relationships. CORE saves military lives.

CORE VALUES NOT SUPPORTED BY EXPANDED FUNDS

Created in 2008, CORE helps military families with post-deployment problems and provides free, confidential counseling to veterans as well as to active-duty service members and their families.

Clearly CORE and other state programs are needed to support military service members during and after military deployment. Despite the benefits to military service members, families, and veterans, CORE is in danger of losing its budget.

CORE OUTREACH FOR NATIONAL GUARD IN MINNESOTA

Minnesota National Guard members have the highest suicide rates in the nation.
One report cited 18 suicides in the Minnesota Guard between 2007 and 2010, more than any other state. Of these four confirmed Guard suicides took place in 2011.

CORE in Minnesota is a needed a first responder to vets and active-duty members and their families in crisis. CORE has served over 2,900 military service members between 2009 and 2011.

PRIVATE AND NONPROFT GROUPS CAN HELP VETERANS

According to Larry Shellito, Veterans Affairs Commissioner, private and nonprofit veterans support organizations are encouraged to serve military service members with outreach and counseling programs, until Federal programs grow to address the needs of returning soldiers.

In the interim, state Department of Veterans Affairs officials ensure that no call from a veteran will be turned away: troubled service members will be directed to a federal military call-in site for suicide-prevention.



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