Mental Health at VA: Suicide Prevention Month



September is Suicide Prevention Month. At VAcareers, we’ll be raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention in the Veteran community with new posts every Tuesday. Do you have a story to share? Let us know in the comments.

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or know a Veteran who is, click here or call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

So far during Suicide Prevention month, we’ve discussed the Power of 1, and how a single act can make a difference in the life of a Veteran. We’ve touched on the risk factors for a Veteran in crisis. Today, we want to focus on a vital part of the success of suicide prevention at VA: the diligent, dedicated work of our health care providers.

VA mental health employees recognize the nuances of our mission “to care for him whom shall have borne the battle.” Military service, in war and peacetimes alike, is no doubt physically demanding—but it’s often the unseen marks that plague our Veterans most. PTSD is a reality for many, but mental illness can come in all forms.

For VA Psychologist Alicia, her work with Veterans with serious mental illness is a passion, and something she feels fortunate to be a part of. In the video below, she shares her experience working at VA. She explains a particular success story.

“We had somebody who came in and through the course of six months to a year…he got hooked in to the vocational rehab portion of our program. Today, he volunteers at our medical center. He greets other patients; he takes them from one place to another if they’re lost; he really feels fulfilled and like he’s giving back to other Veterans.”

Suicide is preventable. We see that in the seemingly small acts of one caring individual, and in the long-term, committed care of mental health professionals. Together, we can reach out to those in need, and we can work together to reduce the rate of Veteran suicide.

If you are a mental health care provider who feels the call to serve our Nation’s Veterans, we urge you to visit VAcareers.va.gov to explore opportunities.

Author

VA Careers