COLORADO, USA — As many as 20 veterans end their own lives every day in the United States.
It's a staggering statistic and one that needs more attention.
The Veterans Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255. Press 1 when prompted. You can also send a text message to 838255 or chat online.
That's why 9NEWS is partnering with the University of Denver for a screening of the documentary 'The Promise' and a conversation on the importance of human connection and persistence in the fight against the high rates of suicide among our veterans and service members.
Find out more and register here: on9news.tv/2HJ8CJx.
'The Promise' tells the story of an artist and a veteran who kept his promise not to hurt himself.
Anita Miller, an artist in Boulder, was inspired to create a work of art that could show the pain some veterans bring home with them. She wanted to honor the vision of one veteran – but told him she needed him to do something too.
“I made him promise that he wouldn’t hurt himself so that when this [sculpture] moves around, he can be a man people can turn to," Miller recalled. "He said he had to think about it, and he called me back a couple of days later. He said he’d thought about it, and he said he was willing to step forward and be that man."
More than two years later, the man on the other end of the line fulfilled his promise when “Silent Battle” was unveiled in Lewiston, Idaho. The Promise is their story.
Following the screening of the documentary, there will be a panel discussion on the challenges veterans and service members face with behavioral and mental health, as well as the specific strengths many of these people have that can help lead to recovery.
The panelists are:
- Dr. Katy Barrs, clinic director of the Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology where she provides clinical education to graduate students and provides licensed community clinicians with education and consulting about these populations.
- Kristen Christy, a military spouse and Air Force family member who is speaking across the country about her family's story of resiliency in the face of suicide.
- Danny Moore, who served 24 years in the United States Navy, and was the first black male to ascend to the rating of Cryptologic Technician Technical Master Chief (CTTCM).
- Chris Vanderveen, an investigative reporter at 9NEWS and co-creator of the documentary The Promise.
The event will also feature an art gallery and a cash bar.
The reception and Eyes of Freedom exhibit will open at 5 p.m. on April 2. in Sturm Hall on the University of Denver campus. The Promise will begin at 6 p.m.
Find out more and register for the event here: on9news.tv/2HJ8CJx.
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