Billy Ray Cyrus, Mel Tillis, Ty Herndon, Mark Collie and Buddy Jewell Join more than 50 Country
Music Artists to Film Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcement (PSA)
“This Country Cares” Country Music PSA for Military Families
Washington, D.C., June 17, 2011 – Blue Star Families, the Nashville Film Institute, and Country Music joined
forces during the CMA Country Music Festival in Nashville June 9, 10 & 11 to begin filming the second in a
series of suicide prevention PSAs to bring suicide prevention awareness to military families in crisis.
The 30 second videos deliver a message of hope from country music’s finest and encourages our military
service members and their families to get help if they are in crisis. The message is clear: This Country Cares.
Filming for the PSAs will continue through July and will premier prior to Veteran’s Day 2011 as part of a larger
This Country Cares campaign. The PSAs will air on broadcast television, radio, and the internet; and will be
shown on military and veteran installations. Talent also will have the opportunity to record an audio version
of the PSA, to air on radio stations across the United States. Artists and their representatives may contact
The most sincere thanks to the patriots who participated in the initial filming for this special PSA series:
Deborah Allen, Charlotte Autry, Veronica Ballestrini, Alex Bridge , Ayla Brown, T. Graham Brown, David Adam
Byrnes, Brian Callihan, John Carter, David & Teri Church, Mark Cooke, Stephen Cochran, Cory Cox, Duane
Allison Culbreth, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ira Dean, Joey DeGraw, Rachel Farley, Adam Grant, Andy Griggs, Greg Hanna,
Amber Hayes, Ty Herndon, Cory Hildrith, Lucas Hoge, Steve Holy, Autumn Letendre, Lucy Angel, Sean Patrick
McGraw, Barry Michaels, DJ Miller, Gary Ray, Riders in the Sky, Kate S. Robinson, Jon Roniger, Marlee Scott,
Skyla Spencer, Steve & Heather, Matt Stillwell, Jason Sutton, Mark Sutton, Ty Stone, Jack Tamburn, Mel Tillis,
The Roys, Robert E. Walden, II, Ryan Weaver, Adalaide Yoder.
Annual surveys by Blue Star Families have consistently shown that 92 percent or more of American military
families believe that the country does not understand or appreciate their service and sacrifice. The goal of
these PSAs are to direct members of the military community to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for help
and to let military family members know that the Nation — with Country Music artists as the spokespeople —
cares and appreciates the many sacrifices of our military families.
Mark D. Smith, an Army veteran and the executive director for Blue Star Families, acknowledged the need
for help, "The suicide rate among our troops, reserve and active duty, and their families is at a record high.
As Americans, we have an obligation and responsibility to take care of the men and women who volunteer to
sacrifice for our country. We hope this public service campaign will help military families realize they have
somewhere to turn for confidential help.”
Kathy Roth-Douquet, military spouse and co-founder of Blue Star Families, noted, “Our military service
members and their families are resilient and strong, but we want them to know that they don't need to
needlessly suffer through depression and anxiety. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength, not
“Suicide is a community issue, not just a military issue. This public service announcement sends an important
message – which is that the American people care about our service members and want for those in trouble
to get help,” said Bonnie Carroll, founder and president of TAPS, who recently served as the co-chair of the
Department of Defense Task Force on Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces.
“Health Net believes we have an obligation to those who voluntarily serve our nation to show them that help
is out there and it's OK to get help. We say to all our service members and veterans, ‘You are not alone. Your
family and your nation need you,’” added Steve Tough, president of Health Net’s Government and Specialty
division, which includes Health Net Federal Services.
Blue Star Families, HealthNet, Inc., The Creative Coalition, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
(TAPS) have partnered together to createthe series of PSAs. The first in the series featuring Hollywood
celebrities was filmed during the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy Awards this year. To view the PSAs
and for more information visit http://bluestarfam.org/preventsuicide.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national nonprofit organization of military families from all ranks and services, including
Guard and Reserves. Blue Star Families' mission is to support, connect and empower military families. In
addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and
strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military
spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.
For more information, visit http://bluestarfam.org.
Sheri Robey-Lapan Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families
Health Net, Inc.
Dennis St. Rose
The Creative Coalition