Standing Tall in Sacramento

Kathleen pauses in her hike to grab a pic of Vet friends

NVF Counselor Kathleen Reilly participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Capitol Day on March 11th. Over 50 advocates from all over California met with legislatures and lawmakers to discuss very important bills to stop suicide. These personal connections between advocates and lawmakers result in state bills that strengthen access to suicide prevention resources. 

One of the bills in particular, amended AB 988, distinguishes Veterans from non-veteran callers on the current 988 suicide hotline. When 988 is dialed, there’s a prompt to “dial 1” if the caller is a Veteran, and the call is routed to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline. Being able to document the number of Veterans calling shows the need for directing more resources and funding toward Veterans. This issue is close to home for Kathleen, who lost a brother, a Marine Vet, to suicide.

We’re grateful to her for representing the NVF and our Lifeline for Vets in this effort. 

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About the Author

Cathie Smith

A military brat, Cathie Sandstrom Smith has lived in five countries and ten states. She has written for the National Veterans Foundation since 1997 and currently serves as Writer/Editor as well as on the Advisory Board.


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