The following is a recap of the Sept.16 #ExploreVA digital event on Facebook discussing suicide prevention.
“Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention.” This message to family, friends, organizations and others who care about our Veterans and Servicemembers is part of the national #BeThere campaign to raise awareness of available resources and inspire action. This message was reinforced during the #ExploreVA Facebook chat on suicide prevention for #WomenVets hosted by American Women Veterans, in partnership with VA. During the chat, VA experts directed participants to information on VA services, benefits, tools and resources designed to help women Veterans in need.
Check out some of the questions and answers from the chat below.
Helping someone feel included and supported can make a big difference during a challenging time. The #BeThere campaign emphasizes that small actions — like calling up an old friend, checking in on a neighbor or inviting a colleague on a walk — are thoughtful ways to show someone you care. For more information and resources visit VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere.
Many Veterans may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves before doing so, but some actions can be a sign that a Veteran needs help. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that indicate a risk of harming themselves. A comprehensive list of warning signs can be found here.
Though enrollment in VA Health Care is not required for access to many of the suicide prevention resources, it can make a difference. Learn more about and apply for VA benefits at the Explore VA website.
If a Veteran in crisis doesn’t have a VA Medical Center nearby, VA Vet Centers provide free counseling and referral services to Veterans who have served in a combat zone, area of hostility, experienced a military sexual trauma or served as part of a drone crew. There are 300 Vet Centers around the country. Learn more about Vet Centers.
Veterans can supplement clinical therapy and treatment with self-help options and materials including guides, books, websites, and mobile applications can provide education about mental health conditions, tips and coping strategies, and interactive support. A directory of resources that have been reviewed and used by VA experts can be found at http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/self_help.asp.
You are eligible for VA health care if you served in active military service and separated under a condition other than dishonorable discharge. Take 20 minutes to complete the Benefits Navigator on ExploreVA to learn about other programs you may qualify for.
Thank you to American Women Veterans for hosting this event, and to those who participated. Be sure to visit the ExploreVA website to learn more about benefits or to sign up for future event. To view the full chat, visit the American Women Veterans’ Facebook page.