The Partners of Alabama’s Challenge and City of Anniston will host a veterans well-being town hall and resource fair on Wednesday, April 26 starting at 10 a.m. at the City Meeting Center.
The two-part event is inspired by a statewide effort called Alabama’s Challenge for Preventing Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF), which aims to combat the continuing stigma Veterans face with mental illness. Recently released data shows 143 Veterans in Alabama died by suicide in 2021, which is a rate higher than the national Veteran average and significantly higher than the national civilian average.
The town hall will feature an opportunity for veterans and the community to hear from a host of federal, state, and local resources while learning more about the 988 crisis line, VA programs and healthcare, gun safety, QPR training and more. Veterans, service members, loved ones, and members of the community will also have an opportunity to ask questions to panelists and have one-on-one conversations with service providers.
Veterans attending the resource fair will have the opportunity to meet with ADVA Veterans Service Officers to apply for VA benefits, file for VA compensation and pension claims, access healthcare services, and learn about additional veterans-related programs. The Partners of Alabama’s Challenge are also collaborating with the Alabama Department of Labor to have 20 employers on site to address employment assistance.
Alabama’s Challenge is an initiative aimed to create an impactful, long-term outcome across the state as we continue fighting a stigma with mental illness. Raising awareness of suicide prevention can help us understand the cause and circumstances that lead to mental health issues in general. The ADVA is a lead agency within Alabama’s Challenge and assists with connecting with SMVF to provide information and knowledge about suicide, provide support, and provide resources and options to deal with PTSD and crisis situations.
You can learn more about Alabama’s Challenge and veterans well-being resources by visiting vetsforhope.com.