VA encourages supporters to be there for veterans, connect with resources
WEST PALM BEACH — September is Suicide Prevention Month and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to remind veterans and their loved ones through the Be There campaign that small actions can make a big difference to veterans experiencing difficult times.
During this and every month, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center remains committed to spreading awareness of suicide prevention to veterans and their supporters and connecting them to the resources they need.
“As a United States Army veteran who has lost fellow soldiers to suicide, I know firsthand the pain that these deaths cause for loved ones,” said Cory Price, West Palm Beach VA Medical Center interim director. “No veteran who served our country should feel hopeless and alone. The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center remains committed to suicide prevention by continuing to strengthen access to mental health services and engaging the community for support in this effort.”
In terms of community support, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center will host a virtual community-wide Mental Health Summit on Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more details visit https://bit.ly/356bE5N. The event is open to the public.
In addition, Be There suggests several simple actions that can help make a difference for a veteran to include:
• Learning about the warning signs of suicide, found on the Veterans Crisis Line website.
• Watching the free S.A.V.E. training video to learn how to respond with care and compassion if someone indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.
• Contacting VA’s Coaching Into Care program where a licensed psychologist or social worker will provide loved ones with guidance for motivating veterans to seek support.
• Sharing stories of hope and recovery from VA’s Make the Connection.
• Reaching out to the veterans in your life to show them you care by sending a check-in text, cook them dinner or simply asking, “How are you?”
For more information and resources visit BeThereForVeterans.com.
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 (366 this leap year). Call 800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.