In its first 18 months, Next Chapter served nearly 700 people – veterans, military members, and their families, reaching its three-year goal halfway through the grant cycle.

The goal was set by the Colorado General Assembly when funding Next Chapter, and the achievement reflects the urgent need for comprehensive support for veterans facing challenges in Colorado.

The results are a testament to the program’s effectiveness — and its deep need throughout Colorado. Even as veteran suicides dropped by 5 percent last year, according to the El Paso County coroner, more people need help, and more are reaching out to Next Chapter for assistance and support. Programs like ours serve as a beacon of hope to those who served our nation.

The ripple effect of Next Chapter’s program is a powerful illustration of its profound impact. Sociologists have found each individual influences 10,000 people during a lifetime — meaning Next Chapter’s support and programs are felt by millions of people, preventing grief and loss for each family member, parent, partner, child, and friend.

Next Chapter works to end the stigma surrounding behavioral health and mental illness and has started a conversation to increase awareness of veteran suicide prevention in our communities. In the past year, more than 865,000 people have heard about Next Chapter through social media posts and stories in local and statewide media.

And this is just the beginning.

Next Chapter provides behavioral health assistance, and through its partners, it also provides housing support, job assistance, food security — and each of those programs is a suicide prevention program. Addressing underlying stressors save lives.

Even as its success continues in Colorado Springs, Next Chapter expanded its reach into Southern Colorado. This summer, it opened an office in Pueblo to reach veterans and families who need improved access to behavioral health care and other support.

Next Chapter will continue its work to provide hope to hundreds of Colorado veterans and their families. Let us help you write your Next Chapter. It could be your best one yet.