Naval Air Station Meridian partnered with The Mississippi Veterans Affairs to bring awareness of suicide during national suicide prevention month by hosting a workshop on base.
“You’ve got a total force coming together to help them know what resources are available to them and to our military community both active and retirees,” said Stacey, Pickering, MVA executive director.
Officials with The Mississippi Veterans Affairs say there are six-thousand veterans in Meridian and it is crucial to inform them on resources that might could save a life.
“Over twenty veterans commit suicide every day in the United States and Mississippi statistics are right in line with that. This is an epidemic. If we can save one life, this workshop has made a tremendous impact for that one family,” said Stacy Pickering, MVA executive director.
Commandant Chaplain Matthew Purmort says serving the county is very rewarding but sometimes can be hard for service members when they are emotionally challenged.
“It can be challenging for local clergy to feel like they can bridge that gap with the military. Helping them form a bridge, helping them to take care of themselves is really great,” said Commandant Chaplain Matthew Purmort.
In attendance other local community organizations such as churches were also there to show their support.
“Getting information, understanding the need, understanding what is available is the first step for us. We’re a small congregation, we do have some veterans and some folks that are current military folks that are a part of our church family, but we want to do whatever we can for them. This is my opportunity to learn, to grow, to understand what’s out there and what we can do,” said Alex Biddles.