Suicide Prevention Month: Start the conversation with a fellow Veteran


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September is Suicide Prevention Month. This month – and every month – you can take action to help prevent suicide.

Simple acts of support can make a real difference to someone going through a difficult time. Check in with a phone call, send a text or an email. Simply reaching out can remind someone they are not alone.

Resources

Take time to check in with Veterans this Suicide Prevention Month.

Here are some resources that can help you Be There for a Veteran in your life:

  • Start the Conversation: This toolkit provides the information about common issues that many Veterans face. It also offers concrete steps to help you support a Veteran who may be dealing with emotional distress. Learn tips to start conversations about mental health and suicide using these fact sheets and find resources to understand common challenges that you and other Veterans may face.
  • VA’s Make the Connection: This website encourages Veterans and those in their community to explore topics of mental health and common life challenges. It also has videos of Veterans openly discussing their experiences with mental health treatment and recovery.

You are never alone, especially if you or someone you know is thinking of ending their life. At the Veterans Crisis Line, caring, qualified responders are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone, chat and text. Veterans having a difficult time or those concerned about a Veteran can call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255.

Take a moment to visit BeThereForVeterans.com for resources you can use and share.

Reporters covering this issue can download VA’s Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet or visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.org for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.


Matthew Miller, Ph.D., is the director of VA’s Suicide Prevention Program, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

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