COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A new study released on Wednesday shows among 9,650 enlisted soldiers have attempted suicide, with more than one-third having no prior mental health diagnosis. The study also shows many of the risk factors happen while men and women are serving our country.
Denver7 connected with Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, Fort Carson and other community partners, to learn about the importance of transition and supportive services for veterans and their families.
"Each month we are transitioning around 400 service members from the Army into the Colorado Springs area as well as going out across the United States,” said Bill Price, Fort Carson Transition Services Manager.
Fort Carson's Transition Assistance, or TAP program, helps bridge the gap into civilian life after service.
“Whether it be resume prep, whether it be connecting with other employers, or just assisting them with their financial needs and helping them get on the right track towards success,” said Price.
TAP connects service members with community partners like Mt. Carmel and Prep Connect 360.
“The next question is, 'and now what do I want to do next?'” said Nanette Brede, Director of Prep Connect 360. “We help open their eyes to so many different opportunities.”
The free, week-long transition assistance workshop has already served more than 550 service members and families, including transitioning service member Vickmarie Murray.
“It is so empowering to know I can do what I want to do now,” said Murray. “I could not be more thankful about taking this class and utilizing Mt. Carmel and the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. It’s incredible how much they have impacted my transition so far.”
Fort Carson also makes the connection with higher education opportunities like at Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC).
“The trick is figuring out, 'what do I need to do to fill in the gaps, to figure out how can I be as successful as I can be on the outside,'” said Paul Dececco, Director of Military and Veterans Programs at PPCC. “Education for a lot of people, for a lot of veterans, does exactly that."
PPCC also connects students who have served with places like Mt. Carmel, where the journey can continue into careers with mock interviews and networking opportunities.
“There is a high demand for their skillset,” said Richard Toya, Hiring Point of Contact for Lockheed Martin. “We want to be on the front lines of that and capture that first before anyone else does.”
To learn more or schedule a visit with Mt. Carmel, you can call (719) 772-7000 or visit the Mt. Carmel website.