Memphis VA hosts veterans job fair for Suicide Awareness Week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis VA and area businesses are stepping up to help veterans who helped our country. The VA hosted a veterans job fair Friday in conjunction with Suicide Awareness Week.

More than 30 employers, schools, and organizations came offering opportunities to veterans, but the bigger picture was about spreading awareness of mental health.

“I’m an Army veteran of seven years, and I have several friends who deal with mental health disorders,” veteran Arkya Van Horn told WREG.

Van Horn said, especially for those serving in war zones, coming home and readjusting can be scary and difficult.

“Even driving down the street, you see things on the side of the road and automatically think the worst,” he said.

The head psychologist for the VA said holding events like the job fair and talking about suicide prevention is a chance to break the stigma associated with mental health.

“A large majority of Americans in the course of their life will experience depression or some other mental health condition,” he said.

Jacqueline Jamison lost her son to suicide two years ago.

“My son Darren Cox, age 44, took his life on December 23, 2012…two days before Christmas,” she said.

Now, she’s made it her mission to make sure other families don’t have to suffer what hers did.

“I do believe that something good is going to come out of it, because I can tell people to get never give up,” she said.

If you or someone you know needs help, the Memphis VA offers several mental health programs.

If there is ever an emergency situation, call 911.

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