LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has committed to the "Governor's Challenge." Feb. 3 and 4, a team of representatives from across the state met for the first time to discuss issues surrounding veteran suicide.
In December 2017, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman committed to the city equivalent, the "Mayor's Challenge."
Christopher Jachimiec is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force and started his own nonprofit to support family members of veterans who have taken their lives, Military and Veterans Survivors of Loved Ones to Suicide.
He's worked with previous challenges and will also help with the "Governor's Challenge."
Jachimiec said these groups are a great way to unite the many individual veteran suicide awareness groups because they will be stronger together.
"I say we need to go from awareness to action. What these challenges are is action campaigns - getting out there to the root causes and finding what we can improve. Is it access to mental healthcare? Is it improving the mental healthcare system across the state or the local areas? What do we need? What are the unique therapies that are out there?" Jachimiec said.
He also said while these groups come together to find out problems and fix them, it's crucial for the public also to be educated. Jachimiec noted, its similar to taking a CPR class, there are suicide prevention classes that anyone can take to learn about the warning signs of suicide and know how to intervene safely.
"They could be your neighbor; they could be your coworker, they could be your friends, they could be your family, they could be the person you pass in the coffee shop every morning. So please reach out, extend that hand and say are you ok, is there anything I can help you with? You may save a life," Jachimiec said.
The Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention has multiple classes to take to educate on suicide awareness.