Suicide Prevention Conference Titled “Matter of Life & Death 2012” Underway in Florida

Suicide Prevention Conference at Daytona State Focuses on Veterans

The Daytona Beach News Journal
by Deborah Circelli, June 5, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH — When Tony Deobil heard statistics on the high rate of suicide among veterans, he knew veterans returning to college had to be a focus of this year’s suicide prevention conference.

Iraq Veteran Bryan Adams scheduled as guest speaker at Suicide Prevention Conference titled “Matter of Life & Death 2012” in Florida. (MTV)

Studies vary, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that 18 veterans die each day by taking their own life.
“It’s a big concern,” said Deobil, coordinator at Daytona State College for Project SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education and Knowledge).

Suicide is also the second-leading cause of death nationally among college students, with car accidents being at the top, he said.

The third annual Suicide Prevention Conference titled “Matter of Life & Death 2012” on Thursday and Friday will have workshops on various topics including reintegrating veterans into the classroom.

The event, which is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days at the News-Journal Center, 221 N. Beach Street, is free and open to the public.

Some other topics include suicide prevention training strategies; associative risk factors of suicide among young African Americans; bullying; suicide prevention in the law enforcement community and support after suicide for friends and family members.

One of the main speakers at 9 a.m. on Thursday is Bryan Adams, a veteran and college student in New Jersey, who served in Iraq in 2004 and was shot in a leg and hand. He shares his struggles about returning to society and college.

Deobil said that as more veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan come home, “we want to make sure the college campuses are aware of the concerns and are equipped to help students.”

He said the veterans become “disconnected and feel like they are a burden” and have no one to talk to. The college is considering creating a student support center for veterans in the fall, officials said.

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