DA Hoovler Announces Formation of Orange County
Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition
District Attorney joins VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System to create a Coalition to Prevent Veterans from Committing Suicide
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that his office has joined with the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System to form an Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition. Suicide numbers in Orange County are alarming high. Nationwide, about seventeen veterans succumb to suicide every day. Veteran suicide rates are fifty percent higher than non-veteran suicide rates. In an effort to reduce this sad statistic, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has partnered the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System to create the Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition.
The VA Hudson Valley Healthcare Systems efforts in this new coalition are being led by Carl LoFaro, who is the Community Engagement and Partnership Coordinator with the VA working out of the Castle Point and Montrose facilities. Mr. LoFaro, a veteran himself, has done similar work in Colorado and being new to New York is eager to work with the District Attorney’s Office and the people of Orange County to prevent suicides. Mr. LoFaro has met with District Attorney Hoovler to discuss the plans and goals for the Coalition. The Coalition has also met with several law enforcement agencies in Orange County, including the New York State Police, the Department of Environmental Conservation Police, the City of Middletown Police Department, and the Village of Washingtonville Police Department, among others. All have expressed a desire to help in spreading the anti-suicide message to our Orange County Communities. Many police officers are veterans themselves and are eager to help. Some veteran groups have also been contacted and as expected, want to help get our suicide prevention message out in the community.
In addition, the Coalition knowing that many outdoors people are also veterans, reached out to the Black Rock Fish and Game Club of Cornwall and the Orange County Federation of Sportsmen and spoke to members of these groups on three different occasions about preventing veteran suicide, as well as discussing the opioid crisis with their respective members. These meetings were featured in a New York Outdoor News article in late October. Just like law enforcement, the outdoor enthusiasts of Orange County have shown strong interest in helping to prevent veteran suicides in their communities.
The coalition has also started to post Veterans Crisis Line posters at local businesses, town halls and establishments across the county. These posters make people aware of how to contact crisis resources in an emergency to obtain help in preventing suicides at any hour of the day or night.
The Orange County Veterans Suicide Prevention Coalition will speak about suicide prevention and the opioid crisis to any organization that requests a meeting, since our goal is to educate the community on these subjects in an effort to prevent as many suicides and overdoses as possible. To schedule a meeting for your organization, or if you would like a Veterans Crisis Line poster or other resources to place at your business or establishmen.t please contact Carl LoFaro at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The coalition is also interested in having more partners join who are serious about helping to prevent veteran suicides and overdoses. If your organization is interested in helping us, please contact the District Attorney’s Office or Mr. Carl LoFaro at the VA Hudson Valley to discuss joining our Coalition. The Coalition is planning a kickoff meeting in Goshen NY in January 2022, at a place and time to be determined. Further announcements will follow as to the exact date and time of the meeting.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said, “I am proud that the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, veteran organizations and the fish and game clubs of Orange County are working to prevent these tragedies from happening in Orange County and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System on this important job to help our veteran heroes. With the enthusiasm I have seen for this project in Orange County, we cannot fail. Even if one veteran suicide is prevented, the Coalition will have been worth the time and effort put into it. This, the month of November, is an especially fitting time to announce this project to the public since this month marks not only Veterans Day but the 246th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps as well. Veterans are our family, friends and neighbors and deserve our support in this county and all across America.”