Brigadier Gen. Jack Hammond in Methuen for Launch of First Roundtable on Veteran Suicide

Retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond of Home Base. (Courtesy photograph.)

The first in a series of roundtable discussions aimed at preventing veteran suicides is taking place today in Methuen.

Congresswoman Lori Trahan, a member of the House Armed Services Committee; state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, House chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs; and retired Brigadier Gen. Jack Hammond of Home Base planned to meet with elected leaders, public safety officials, clinical providers and veterans stakeholders this morning to discuss the rollout of Home Base’s Statewide Suicide Prevention Campaign.

In a statement, Hammond said, “Each day we lose more than 20 American Veterans to suicide—one each hour. Sadly, 7,000 service members have been killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan, but more than 100,000 veterans have died by suicide since Sept. 11, 2001.”

Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program, received state funding to provide this life-saving training to communities across the Commonwealth. Founded in 2009 and based at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Home Base has provided life-changing mental health services to more than 21,000 veterans and family members since its inception at no cost to patients. The group has also trained more than 73,000 clinicians, first responders and community providers across the state.

Trahan, Campbell and Hammond will partner with Methuen Mayor James Jajuga, state Leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, chiefs of police and fire from Haverhill, Lowell, Methuen, Lawrence and Andover, as well as veteran service organizations and community groups across the Merrimack Valley.

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