According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, twenty-two veterans die from suicide every day. For this reason, Rose State College was happy to host Fox 25’s town hall “Your Voice Your Future,” which focused on discussing mental health issues amongst vets and active-duty military. The town hall, which was took place Tuesday evening, October 29, included four panelists, Toya L. Banks, LCSW-S, Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS) of Behavioral Health from the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System, Peggy A. Hudson, PhD, Whole Health Clinical Director and Health Behavior Coordinator and Co-Chair of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention from Oklahoma City VA Health Care System, Major Jovanna Gaines, USAF Director of Psychological Health at Tinker AFB, and Shelby Rowe, Program Director, Office of Suicide Prevention from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health.
The event was live-streamed via Facebook Live, and gave viewers, both in-person and online, an opportunity to ask relevant questions to the panel. The goal of the evening was to discuss the most significant mental health issues among military personnel and their impacts on the individuals and their friends, family, and coworkers.
The town hall included brief interviews and comments from Derek Jump, Director of Development for Warriors for Freedom. Jump shared briefly about his experiences with PTSD and spoke passionately of the nine friends who have taken their own life as a result of mental health issues.
“We’re very fortunate to have partnered on this great event,” said Stan Greil, V.P. of Miltary and Government Relation at Rose State College. “Veterans and service members are an important part of Rose State College, and we are happy to support our military any way we can.”