LISTEN LIVE

suicide prevention

The VA has opened more call centers and hired hundreds of additional responders after complaints that some callers experienced long hold times or were sent to voicemail.

James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital

September is Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. To mark the occasion, both the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System are hosting suicide prevention awareness fairs Friday.

There will also be a separate event benefiting the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay that evening.

More than 20 veterans take their own lives every day in the U.S. and the majority never sought the help that was available to them.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Florida’s youth, and a newly signed law aims to promote youth suicide prevention training in schools.

  Florida's rural counties are seeing suicide rates for youth almost double that of the state's large cities. And experts say isolation, poverty, access to firearms and a lack of mental health resources are to blame.

In an office decorated with signs proclaiming “Safe Space,” Peggy Saddler meets with students overwhelmed by classes, fighting with friends and family or struggling with deeper problems.

The Wauchula High School guidance counselor has worked with students in rural counties for more than 30 years and said sometimes students are “shutting the door every night (with) a little bit more than teenage angst.”