DALTON, Georgia – August 21, 2023 – Highland Rivers Behavioral Health will host a community symposium on veteran suicide prevention Wednesday, September 13, at the Chattahoochee Technical College North Metro campus, 5198 Ross Rd., in Acworth.


Titled “It Takes a Village to Combat Veteran Suicide,” the symposium will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is open to veterans and their family members, veteran-serving organizations, behavioral health providers, and community members who want to learn more about suicide prevention and resources for supporting veterans in the community. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided.


“Highland Rivers has a long-standing commitment to serving veterans, and through partnerships with the VA and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, we work to  ensure veterans have access to services regardless of their personal circumstances or resources,” said Melanie Dallas, CEO of Highland Rivers Behavioral Health. “That commitment has helped our agency secure funding for additional and innovative veterans programs such as a community-based veteran response team and community education events such as this symposium.”


In 2022, Highland Rivers Behavioral Health received a $750,000 grant from the Veterans Administration (VA) Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP) to enhance suicide prevention efforts among veterans and their families in Cherokee and Pickens counties. The grant allowed Highland Rivers to establish a veteran response team and enhanced services for veterans in the two counties, and also supports community education about veteran suicide prevention, which includes the September 13 symposium.


The “It Takes a Village to Combat Veteran Suicide” symposium will feature sessions by Team RWB (Read, White and Blue), about reducing veteran suicide through camaraderie and physical and mental wellness; the Shepherd Center SHARE initiative discussing the links between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and suicide among veterans; and from Highland Rivers, a veteran-focused Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training, as well as a discussion of the SSG Fox program and the agency’s veteran services. The event will also include a broad discussion of local veteran resources, veteran-serving organizations and local veteran-focused businesses.


Although there is no cost to attend the event, Highland Rivers is requesting participants register on Evenbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/it-takes-a-village-to-combat-veteran-suicide-tickets-699128471077?aff=ebdssbeac, which can also be accessed using the QR code below. Those interested in attending may also RSVP to Helen Searcy, Highland Rivers’ veterans public outreach coordinator, at helensearcy@highlandrivers.org.

Press Release