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'In Conversation' talks about veterans' mental health needs and resources

Louisville 2019 Veterans Day Parade
Louisville 2019 Veterans Day Parade

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Veterans Day is about honoring our heroes and showing support for our soldiers. There are ceremonies and parades, and special offers for veterans to thank them.

But military service is a tough and sometimes thankless job. And the challenges servicemembers face don’t always end when they return to civilian life.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, on average, about 18 veterans a day take their own lives. If you include active duty soldiers, members of the National Guard and reservists, that number rises to about 20 a day who die by suicide.

On this week’s "In Conversation," we learned more about the mental health challenges that are specific to people who have served in the armed forces. We’ll find out what resources are available in the community to help improve veterans’ mental health and quality of life.  And we got an update on the long-awaited new VA Hospital in eastern Jefferson County, and how it might improve vets’ access to health care.

We also talked about recognizing the significance of Black servicemembers on Veterans’ Day. There are more than 2 million Black veterans in the country.

If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Michelle Tyrene Johnson is the lead producer of LPM’s talk shows, and she is also the host and producer of LPM’s podcast Race Unwrapped. Email Michelle at mjohnson@lpm.org.

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