American Legion Department leaders attended the Faith Based Organizations, Mental Health and Veteran Organizations Forum on Suicide Prevention and Postvention.
Members of American Legion attended Veterans Counseling Veterans ” Community Coalition event to prevent Veteran suicide and provide support to families who lost a Veteran to suicide in Tampa Bay area. Ellsworth “Tony “Williams, President/CEO for Veterans Counseling Veterans INC is also the current Veteran Affairs & Rehab Chair American Legion 15th District. Department Chaplain Barry Roberts is leading the effort to convince the Florida American Legion to support efforts on Veteran Suicide prevention and families who lost a veteran to suicide (Postvention). President Trump and VA Secretary both stated that Veteran suicide prevention is their number one priority.
Larry Roberts, American Legion Department Entitlement Chair asked “representatives from James A Haley VA and Bay Pines VA if the members of National Guard and Reserves eligible for mental health services at the VA. Unfortunately, no one from the panel could answer his question.
Barry Roberts, American Legion Department Chaplain participated as a panelist on the Faith Based Organization panel.
Barry along with Kurt Gies, Commander of American Legion Post 63 (Winter Garden) and Larry Roberts are working together to ensure American Legion Department of Florida is providing support for Veteran suicide prevention and support for families who lost a Veteran to suicide.
Kurt Gies, stated “his post is having fundraisers to help fight Veteran suicide as well as the Legion Riders. Fundraisers are needed but where the money is going is just as important. Wherever the money is going right now, doesn’t appear to be helping.
Tony said he was encouraged to know several members of American Legion are taking up the mantle to help prevent Veteran suicide. It is critical for Veteran Service organizations to be part of the coalition. Members of the local Marine Corps League were also in attendance.