American Legion partners with IndyCar’s Tony Kanaan for new mental health campaign

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(Photo supplied/The American Legion)

The American Legion will use an international stage for a new campaign to reduce suicides among veterans.

The Legion began sponsoring IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan last year. This year, Kanaan’s #1 car will sport the logo “Be the One,” the slogan for the Legion’s new mental health campaign.

Legion chief marketing officer Dean Kessel says the goal is to help veterans get past reservations they may have about seeking mental health assistance if they need it, and to push people close to them to reach out with encouragement in whatever form.

Mental health groups say a feeling that there’s a stigma attached to seeking treatment is a common obstacle to getting help. Kessel says veterans sometimes have additional reasons for remaining silent. He says those who still hold security clearances often fear losing them if they seek treatment. And Kessel says some veterans will forgo treatment rather than jeopardize their right to own a gun. Even after Indiana eliminates its gun permit requirement July 1, it’ll still be illegal to carry a gun if you’re mentally ill.

17 veterans a day commit suicide, a rate nearly twice that among non-veteran adults. Veterans account for nearly one in seven adult suicides.

1 COMMENT

  1. —Mental health groups say a feeling that there’s a stigma attached to seeking treatment is a common obstacle to getting help.

    True and very often it is mental health groups saying it!

    Harold A Maio

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