Washington, DC - Today, Second Lady Karen Pence led a call with the current PREVENTS Ambassadors. She thanked them for their work as ambassadors and encouraged them to use their platforms and outreach to amplify PREVENTS during National Suicide Prevention Month. Mrs. Pence also encouraged ambassadors to spread the REACH campaign messaging. The campaign includes a pledge for Americans to sign, making a commitment to help prevent suicide and increase awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention practices.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant mental health impacts on Americans and Mrs. Pence stressed now more than ever we must address mental health and suicide prevention practices. The CDC recently released a newreport titled “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic” which found that from June 24-30, 25% of Americans between ages 18-24 and 16% between ages 25-44 “seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days.”

In Mrs. Pence’s concluding remarks, she emphasized that suicide is preventable and that if everyone has a strong presence online and in our own community this month, we can all help save lives and help build a mentally healthier Nation.

Following Mrs. Pence’s remarks, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, PREVENTS Executive Director, shared the events PREVENTS has organized this month and ideas for how all the ambassadors can further elevate their role with PREVENTS.

Call Participants Included:

  • Cheryl Mason, Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
  • Brigadier General Marianne Watson, Retired Army National Guard; currently serves on four military/veteran connected nonprofits
  • Stephen “Butch” Whitehead, National Commander Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
  • DJ Nash, creator and showrunner of ABC’s A Million Little Things TV show and a suicide prevention advocate
  • Jennifer Korn, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison
  • Bonnie Carroll, Founder and President, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and 2015 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Danica Thomas, Suicide Prevention Advocate
  • Jewel Kilcher, Singer-Songwriter & Mental Health Advocate

On March 5, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13861, establishing a three-year effort known as the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). PREVENTS launched their national health campaign called REACH, which aims to empower all Americans to play a role in preventing suicide. Second Lady Karen Pence serves as the Lead Ambassador. To learn more about PREVENTS, click here.