JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — North Carolina Congressman Richard Hudson and Senator Thom Tillis held a virtual press conference Tuesday to highlight veteran and active-duty military suicides.

Hudson spoke about the troubling statistics of veteran and active-duty military suicides, stating that more than 17 veterans commit suicide every day, which he said comes from a 2019 study. So the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and failed withdrawal from Afghanistan isn’t taken into account.

Hudson also said the statistic used to be 22 a day, but even 17 is too high.

Tillis spoke on the ways to lower this number, such as looking back at records of veterans who had behavioral changes that could be caused by PTSD or traumatic brain injury. Another way Tillis mentions to lower the active-duty and veteran suicide rate is to reach out and check on how they are doing.

Tillis encouraged people to reach out to service members or veterans to thank them for their service and ask how they’re doing on November 21, National Warrior Call Day.

They both encourage people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues, to call the Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 or text 838-255. They can also visit veterancrisisline.net.