Veteran’s death spurs creation of a peer mentor program to curb suicide

“From the paper standpoint, we’d checked all the boxes and it looked like we’d done enough. But we didn’t.”

By Danika Worthington

Bonnie Walton called Heather Ehle first. She needed someone who would understand but wasn’t too close. She needed someone who could help her find a way to tell her four sons that their father had killed himself.

Her husband, Brian Walton, seemed to have been on the right track. He was in a follow-up program at Project Sanctuary, a therapeutic military-family retreat. He had been seen at the Veteran Affairs hospital. He had a therapist and he had medication.

“From the paper standpoint, we’d checked all the boxes and it looked like we’d done enough,” said Ehle, the president and founder of Project Sanctuary. “But we didn’t.”

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