Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide somewhere around the world. Globally, suicide is the most common cause of death among people ages 15–29. In the United States in 2017 alone, 45,390 adults died by suicide, including 6,139 Veterans. Mental health promotion and suicide prevention is the World Mental Health Day 2019 theme.
On October 10, VA is joining countless other organizations, communities, leaders and health professionals to observe World Mental Health Day. The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) organized the event. The event is supported by the World Health Organization, the International Association for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health.
Resources and support for mental health and suicide prevention
VA urges Veterans, service members and their families and friends to learn about the resources and support available for those who are experiencing signs or symptoms of a mental health condition and to help prevent suicide among Veterans. Suicide is preventable.
Suicide prevention is VA’s top clinical priority. Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. VA works with community partners across the country to reach Veterans where they are.
Opportunity to be there for Veterans
World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for everyone to be there for Veterans who may be in crisis. Join VA and the WFMH in taking 40 seconds for action. Your actions may provide the encouragement a loved one needs to seek help or even help prevent a suicide attempt. Here are a few ways you can take action:
- Explore the Veterans Crisis Line website to learn about the many ways you can be there for a Veteran in need.
- Find more information on suicide prevention here.
- Visit MakeTheConnection.net to watch videos of over 500 Veterans share their stories of coping with major life events, overcoming challenges and finding a new sense of purpose. Then share one of these inspiring stories with a Veteran loved one.
- Check out MentalHealth.va.gov for information and resources on a variety of mental health topics and conditions, including suicide risk, anxiety, depression and more.
- Connect with Coaching Into Care. It’s a free telephone service for family members, friends and loved ones of Veterans who need support. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 1-888-823-7458 to get started today.
If you are a Veteran in crisis or are concerned about one, the Veterans Crisis Line is here to help. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255 or chat online.
To learn more about VA’s programs and resources, visit www.MentalHealth.va.gov.
To locate your VA community mental health point of contact, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/MENTALHEALTH/get-help/local-care/community-poc.asp.
Story via VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.