Photo Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Cher doesn't know what it's like to be in a war, but she knows that military members and their families might need help with the aftermath of war and deployment.
She's one of a host of celebrities trying to get the word out to service men and women, as well as their families, that help is available if they're feeling suicidal.
"If you're feeling at a loss, you are not alone. There's help," the actress and singer says in a new public service announcement that promotes a toll-free, confidential suicide prevention help line. "Your family needs you, we need you, and thank you so much for your service."
In a press release, the Military Channel, The Creative Coalition and Blue Star Families -- the driving forces behind the PSAs -- cite national statistics that show veterans constitute about 20 percent of the 30,000 to 32,000 U.S. deaths each year from suicide. On average, 18 veterans attempt suicide each day, and seven of them succeed. Suicides also are increasing among military family members, they say.
To help curb those numbers, the PSAs aim to let vets and their families know they don't have to suffer alone. One way to get help is by calling the assistance hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Other celebs touting the suicide prevention message include The Fighter Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, Michael Chiklis of Fantastic Four and The Shield, football star Terrell Owens, Taye Diggs of Private Practice, actress Minnie Driver, Alfre Woodard of Memphis Beat, Tom Arnold of True Lies fame, and Hector Elizondo of Grey’s Anatomy. The PSAs, directed by Tim Daly of Private Practice, are airing on the Military Channel, Lifetime network’s MyLifetime.com, Elle.com and on taxi screens in New York City, Boston, Miami and Chicago.