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Battle Creek VA holds 5K to raise veteran suicide awareness
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Suicide among veterans has become a growing problem in recent years, and now a local agency wants to stop the issue.
A report released last month shows that nearly one-third of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have contemplated suicide.
Now, the VA in Battle Creek is working to bring awareness to the mental-health crisis that has gripped our veterans in recent years.
Each day, Veterans Affairs officials tell us 18 to 22 veterans commit suicide.
It's a growing problem many don't want to talk about.
"There's a big stigma attached to mental health, so a lot of people are really scared to get help," said suicide prevention coordinator Sue Fabeck. "They feel like it's a sign of weakness."
For those coming back from combat, the stress of transitioning back to regular life can be too much.
VA officials in Battle Creek are hoping to reach local veterans before that breaking point.
This weekend, they are hosting the first ever Alive and Running Suicide Prevention 5K.
They want to bring the community together with veterans to raise awareness.
The hope is that the open dialog will help those dealing with suicidal thoughts to seek help.
The walk is Saturday morning at the VA in Battle Creek, off of Armstrong Road.
It kicks off at 9:00 a.m. You can sign up ahead of time, or in person at the site.