If you're a Veteran who is thinking of hurting yourself, you feel like you want to die, or you know a Veteran who’s considering this—we can help. Our VA New Jersey health care suicide prevention coordinators can get you the support you need. They work with our behavioral health providers and community organizations to assist Veterans who are managing emotional or mental health crises.
If you need assistance right now:
- Dial 9-8-8, then press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Text to 838255 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Visit: www.veteranscrisisline.net to chat online with the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Dial 9-1-1 to reach local community emergency services like police or medics.
Suicide prevention coordinators
Our Suicide Prevention Coordinators (SPC) promote awareness about suicide and that suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility in our New Jersey healthcare system. SPC’s provide suicide prevention training to all VA employees and are also available to provide trainings to veteran’s groups, community agencies, and other veteran-centered partners. They help identify high-risk Veterans, and assure that care and monitoring for these Veterans is appropriate. SPC's also receive consults from the Veterans Crisis Line and follow-up to assure that Veterans continue to receive appropriate care.
Suicide prevention case managers
Our suicide prevention case managers provide case management services to veterans who are at increased risk for suicide. Case managers also follow up on calls made to the Veterans Crisis Line. Support is provided to other New Jersey health care staff by offering assessments, evaluations for high risk patients, safety planning, as well as support when interacting with patients experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Community engagement and partnership coordinators
Our Suicide Prevention Community Engagement & Partnerships Coordinators (CEPC) serve as content matter experts for community-based suicide prevention initiatives and help with suicide prevention education throughout the community. CEPC's build community-led coalitions that focus on suicide prevention and education. They can speak to your organization about Suicide Prevention, provide free suicide prevention resources, and training opportunities.
Here are some common questions we get about Suicide Prevention here at VANJHCS. Reach out to a Suicide Prevention team member if you'd like to know more about what we do!
No. Accessing mental health care when you need it is important. If you are not enrolled for healthcare at VA, you have options which include dialing 9-1-1 or making a call to the Veterans Crisis Line (988, press 1) if you are in crisis. You can also present to one of our VA Medical Centers to speak with someone about ongoing help. Once your concerns are addressed, we'll work to help you receive continued services.
Vet Centers are also a great option for non-emergent mental health needs.
You can enroll for VA Healthcare or check your eligibility status by completing our Application for Health Benefits located here.
When a Veteran contacts the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), the clinician who responds will listen to them and help them through the reason they called. Sometimes, Veterans do not need further follow-up. Some Veterans do want extra assistance from someone at their local VA after the call though. In these cases, VCL clinicians make a comprehensive note about the call for the local Suicide Prevention team to review and follow-up with quickly. Local Suicide Prevention Coordinators and Case Managers reach out to the Veteran proactively to help with anything from scheduling medical and mental health appointments, to psychotherapy, and many other supportive roles.
Routine appointments for mental healthcare should be scheduled through the mental health clinic or provider that you see regularly at VA unless you are already in contact with a member of the Suicide Prevention team.
We would love to speak to your organization about Suicide Prevention! You can contact any member of our Suicide Prevention team to begin the conversation about your needs. We have two specialists, called Community Engagement and Partnership Coordinators, who are experts in helping to build coalitions around Suicide Prevention as well.
Yes! Just ask a member of our Suicide Prevention team. There is no cost for a gun lock and no stigma connected with asking for one for you or a family member.
A safe home environment can buy you, or someone you care about, time to get help. Contrary to popular belief, people who are suicidal don’t generally seek other ways to attempt suicide if they can’t access the method they planned to use. Nor will they attempt suicide if safeguards are in place making the method more difficult.
Check out the VA Lethal Means Safety page for more info about this.
Anyone can click here to take a self-guided version of S.A.V.E. training. By taking this course you will develop a general understanding of the problem of suicide in the United States; understand how to identify a Veteran who may be at risk for suicide; and, finally, know what to do if you identify a Veteran at risk. We encourage everyone to follow-up with us for a more in-depth discussion about Suicide Prevention at VA and in your community.
*You are leaving VA.gov by clicking the above link.
VA has a variety of tools and databases for the public to use to learn more about these topics. In addition, we have linked some very good non-VA resources here as well.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Non-VA resource)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (Non-VA resource)
New Jersey Vet2Vet (Non-VA resource)
Vets4Warriors (Non-VA resource)