HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Hundreds of health care professionals and advocates met in Helena to talk about ways to reduce the suicide rate of military veterans in Montana.

Dr. Len Lantz says Montana has the highest suicide rate in the country at nearly double the national average for adults, and the rate is higher among veterans and Native Americans.

The Independent Record reports the Montana Conference on Suicide Prevention on Friday focused specifically on veteran suicide and the health professionals who work with men and women who return from combat.

Juliana Hallows of the Montana VA says referrals from the state VA’s crisis phone line has more than doubled between 2014 and 2018.

She says it’s good to see more people having the courage to call for help.

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Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com