Sunday, April 14, 2024


I am imagining this is how the great writers do it. I am composing my next article while looking out the cabin window at the lake. Suddenly, reality slaps me in the face. I am barely a writer, I am frantically attempting to meet the deadline, and my picturesque surroundings are temporary. I take a deep breath and take stock knowing I am surrounding by fellow Veterans and CVSOs. They’ve got my back, as I do theirs.

The American Legion has an interesting program, Be The One. The program will (is currently) destigmatize asking for mental health support, provide peer-to-peer support and resources, and educate everyone on how they can Be the One. At its core, The American Legion is activating a national platform to reduce the rate of veteran suicide. The Be the One campaign will: Destigmatize asking for mental health support, creating opportunity for those with mental health issues to speak freely and get the support they need. Provide peer-to-peer support and resources in local communities. Deploy FDA-approved therapeutics for veterans to identify issues and find resources for support.

As a Veteran, you can Be The One by: Talking with others about how you are feeling. Ask for help when you know you need it. Know there are millions of people ready to help you. Remember your family and friends care. As a spouse, partner, family member, caregiver, friend of a veteran, or interested civilian you can Be The One by: Ask veterans in your life how they are doing. Listen when a veteran needs to talk. Reach out when a veteran is struggling.

September is National Suicide Prevent Month. I believe we can all Be The One by looking out for each other. We can all Be The One by communicating with each other. Do not be afraid to ask for help or ask if someone needs help. Anyone can use the Crisis Line by dialing 988 (Veterans press 1), and resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Brad Anderson and Melissa Crandall are the Lake County Veterans Service Officers and can be reached at 218.834.8326 or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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