How can you support the Veterans in your life? By performing even small actions that show you care, you can make a big difference for a Veteran who is going through a difficult time.
VA, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, is promoting its “Be There for Veterans” public service announcement (PSA) as part of VA’s larger #BeThere (BeThereForVeterans.com) campaign. In the video, which is narrated by actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, VA issues an urgent call to action: to support our nation’s Veterans and reach out to Veterans who may be in need.
“This PSA underscores VA’s public health approach to preventing Veteran suicide, which encourages everyone to play a role in suicide prevention,” said Aaron Eagan, deputy director of operations and integration for suicide prevention in VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. “The ‘Be There’ campaign is focused on simple yet impactful ways we can all reach out to and engage Veterans.”
Talking with a Veteran about mental health or suicide risk may be challenging, but it is important. The #BeThere campaign stresses the importance of having an open conversation with people when they’re going through a difficult time. Taking the time to send an email or text or make a phone call can make a big difference — and could even help save a life.
The PSA is being highlighted between Independence Day and Veterans Day 2019, a period that also includes Suicide Prevention Month in September.
Watch the PSA online and share it with your families and friends. Together, we can build caring communities and let Veterans and their families know that there’s strength in seeking out support whenever it’s needed.
The health and well-being of our nation’s Veterans and former service members is VA’s highest priority. Guided by data and research, VA is working with partners, Veterans’ family members and friends, and the community to ensure that Veterans and former service members get the right care whenever they need it. To learn about the resources available for Veterans and how you can Be There as a VA employee, family member, friend, community partner or clinician, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/resources.asp.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
About the author: Aimee Jonson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and program analyst for partnerships in VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.