ROANOKE, Va. — GE is donating $3,000 to Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley (MHARV) to support educational programs focused on teen and veteran suicide prevention.
The charitable contribution is being made on behalf of its 750 employees located at the company’s Salem facility, where industrial controls are designed and manufactured. A cross-functional group including leadership, engineers and production employees from the plant selected the organization for the donation.
“GE is working around the world to increase and improve access to mental health care,” said Craig Strong, plant manager of GE’s Salem facility. “We know that diagnosing and treating mental illnesses is a challenge for health facilities, especially in rural areas. GE’s donation to MHARV will not only help to improve access to mental health care in the Roanoke Valley community but also improve overall well-being and quality of life for these patients and their families.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youths between 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. In addition, a recent analysis concluded that the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared with the civilian rate of 14 per 100,000.
“The support of partners like GE makes it possible for us to reach out to the community and reduce the stigma attached to mental illnesses,” said Diane Kelly, executive director of MHARV. “It empowers us to help people who struggle with mental illness and improve access to treatment resources.”
In addition, GE’s donation will help MHARV educate the community about cultural diversity and the importance of understanding how different cultures perceive mental illness, the stigmas attached to it and how treatment is delivered.
In April, GE contributed $3,500 to the Virginia Museum of Transportation to support its educational outreach efforts and develop future exhibits. In early May, GE donated $4,000 to the Salvation Army’s Turning Point program — the area’s largest secure shelter for domestic violence victims and their children. The donation will help Turning Point significantly improve the living quarters for their residents and offset the cost of food. Last month, GE donated $3,000 to Roanoke Area Ministries to help the organization achieve its mission of providing safe shelter, nutritious lunches and emergency financial aid to the homeless and poverty-stricken.
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