Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow has leant her talents to promoting suicide prevention among veterans, directing a public service advertisement that asks former service members to seek help just as they would encourage others in crisis to do.
For Suicide Prevention Month in September, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Ad Council launched new public service announcements Wednesday as part of the VA's two-year-old “Don't Wait. Reach Out” prevention campaign.
The new ads, which feature real veterans, not actors, note that vets often are the first to help others in crisis, volunteering in an emergency or supporting a friend in need, but when it comes to themselves, they are reluctant to reach out.
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The ads, which include a long version as well as 60- and 30-second spots, ask: “When was the last time you asked for help?”
The veterans all struggle with what appears to be a surprise question.
“It's always tough, right? Um,” one replies.
“Yeah. That's a good question. Um,” replies another.
“I can't say that I have, I mean, um,” another says.
“It was drilled in, service before self,” a veteran explains.
According to Heidi Arthur, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council, the campaign was designed to encourage veterans to give themselves the same consideration they give…