VA recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month

#BeThere campaign urges communities nationwide to support Veterans



#BeThere Suicide Prevention Month graphic

Click here to download Suicide Prevention Month toolkit.                                                           

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, VA encourages Veterans, community leaders, co-workers, families and friends to #BeThere — to help prevent suicide. You can #BeThere by being present, supportive and strong for those who may be going through a difficult time.

As part of this approach, VA is working closely with The White House and other partners to implement the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide or PREVENTS.

“This September, and all year, I encourage everyone to take a moment to be there for Veterans in need.” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “One act of thoughtfulness can make a big difference and may even save a life. That’s why VA is proud to work on initiatives like PREVENTS, to prevent suicide and find innovative ways to deliver support and care to all 20 million U.S. Veterans whenever and wherever they need it.”

PREVENTS

The PREVENTS roadmap, initiated by an executive order signed by President Trump in March 2019, will serve as an important tool for promoting research, community engagement — and collaboration in the public and private sector — and ultimately, for ending Veteran suicide.

Suicide is a complex, national, public health issue that affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 Americans, including more than 6,000 Veterans, dying by suicide every year.

Suicide is preventable, and special training is not needed to prevent suicide. Everyone can play a role by learning to recognize warning signs, showing compassion to Veterans in need and offering support. Listed are actions anyone can take to Be There:

  • Reach out to Veterans to show them you care. Send a check-in text, cook them dinner or simply ask, “How are you?”
  • Learn the warning signs of suicide, found on the Veterans Crisis Line website.
  • Watch the free S.A.V.E. training video to equip yourself to respond with care and compassion if someone you know indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.
  • Check out VA’s Social Media Safety Toolkit to learn how to recognize and respond to social media posts that may indicate emotional distress, feelings of crisis or thoughts of suicide.
  • Contact VA’s Coaching Into Care program when worried about a Veteran or loved one. A licensed psychologist or social worker will provide guidance on motivating your loved one to seek support.

Learn more about the #BeThere campaign and access resources to help support Veterans at BeThereForVeterans.com.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line. Confidential support is 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.

Author

Reynaldo Leal

– Reynaldo Leal is a public affairs officer for VA’s office of Digital Media Engagement and member for the VAntage Point’s staff. He is a proud Marine Corps Veteran who deployed to the Al Anbar Province with 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment in 2004 and 2006. He also took part in some of the heaviest fighting during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004.

Comments

  1. Rene Sutton    

    The VA and DoD updated the Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide Evidence Based Clinical Practice Guideline for Healthcare Providers and Patients here is a link to the full guideline and the summaries: https://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/MH/srb/.

  2. Lou Rodriguez    

    How ironic it’s suicide prevention month. Yet I was giving pills that increased the possibility of suicide!!

  3. joseph donahoe    

    all bull. nothing that the VA helps me. good luck

  4. Delton L Smith    

    This is a very good program I have used it before

  5. Dale Burgener    

    I am the adjutant at East Bremerton Post 268 of the American Legion. I am trying to get information on fund raising ideas for suicide prevention. If you could get me any info would appreciate it very much. Thank you Dale Burgener

  6. Daniel Kibbee    

    First and foremost. # Be There.

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