September is Suicide Prevention Month, time to remind America that — It Matters. It’s about the crisis too many of our wounded warriors face. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and numerous other government and private organizations are joining together to participate in Suicide Prevention Month activities.
VA’s Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders through a confidential toll-free hotline and online chat.
Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or chat online to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Many of the responders are Veterans and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face.
Call and tell them about anything that has been particularly stressful for you lately — the death of a loved one, relationship break-up, loss of job or unemployment, money problems, losing your home or anything else that might be contributing to how you are feeling.
Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 890,000 calls and made more than 30,000 life-saving rescues. In 2009, the Veterans Crisis Line added an anonymous online chat service and has engaged in more than 108,000 chats.
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to receive confidential support
People who know a Veteran best may be the first to recognize emotional distress and reach out for support when issues reach a crisis point — well before a Veteran is at risk of suicide.
To make sure all Veterans and their loved ones are aware of the Veterans Crisis Line, VA is coordinating with communities and partners nationwide to let Veterans and their loved ones know that support is available whenever, if ever, they need it.
There is a Suicide Prevention Coordinator at every VA Medical Center. This month they are working with community supporters to coordinate special outreach events including seminars, health fairs, training and information sessions, community events and events at many VA Medical Centers.
It is not unusual to face disappointments, frustrations, loss and the wear and tear of daily stress. People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations — from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job.
For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues reach a crisis point, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.
Sometimes a crisis may involve thoughts of suicide.
Learn to recognize these warning signs:
The following signs require immediate attention:
If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is experiencing any of these signs, call the Veterans Crisis Line immediately. Responders are standing by to help.
Crisis, stress, depression and other issues affect people in different ways. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping or feel out of control. Maybe your energy level is down or you feel anxious all the time. If these issues and others seem to be leading to a crisis, treatment can help.
On the Crisis Line website you can take a confidential, anonymous, risk assessment to see how you might benefit from VA or community-based services.
You don’t have to give your name. You just answer some questions that may be very familiar. Such as:
During the last 4 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following?
Suicide prevention is one of VA’s top priorities. Prevention goes beyond a month, a week or a day. With VA, prevention is constant and we do that by making sure Veterans and their families are aware of the signs and symptoms and that they know where to go for help when they need it.