Our speaker today was Jesse Faue, an RN with a background in Public Health, and military veteran who currently works for the Veterans Administration in the area of suicide prevention.  The VA has adopted the CDC's model for working on suicide prevention.  It starts with terminology -- most importantly that one "dies by suicide" rather than saying one "commits suicide".  Since the word "commits" frequently is followed by the words "a crime", these experts feel it is important to view suicide not as a crime but as a tragic situation in which one feels that the pain of taking one's own life is less painful than continuing to live.  Jesse spoke of a burning building analogy in which one chooses to jump out the window of a burning building rather than the more painful choice of remaining inside.  Many times this decision is made very impulsively, especially when someone has access to a firearm, so their model says limiting this access is critical.  Veterans, unfortunately, are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than non-veterans.  In part this is because the military culture, puts a high premium on personal responsibility and strength.  Military members are taught to feel "I can do this by myself" when they in fact really need help to deal with problems.  She stressed that if we know of someone who might be feeling vulnerable in this way, that we show up for them - checking on them, asking to go on a walk or communicate in another way, and learn the signs that might indicate someone is thinking of taking their own life.