WEST PALM BEACH -- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) welcomes the community to join its Suicide Prevention Information Fair to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the VA Medical Center located at 7305 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that 20 Veterans per day die by suicide and of those only four have engaged in VA health care. Though this number is down from 22 per day in years past, even one life lost to suicide is far too many. In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center encourages the local community and Veterans’ families and friends to help prevent suicide by visiting its Suicide Prevention Information Fair and taking the pledge to (bethereforveterans.com). Be There for those going through a difficult time.
There is no special training to prevent suicide. The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center encourages everyone to take the following actions to Be There for our Nation’s Veterans:
• Reach out to the Veterans in your life to show them you care. Send a check-in text, cook them dinner, or simply ask, “How are you?”
• Educate yourself on 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 if you are worried about a Veteran loved one. A licensed psychologist or social worker will provide guidance on motivating your loved one to seek support.
Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.