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 Detroit VA Medical Center remains committed to spreading awareness of suicide prevention to Veterans and their supporters and connecting them to the resources they need.
“Suicide prevention is a priority all year,” says Dr. Pamela Reeves, Detroit VA Executive Director in a press release. “However, during the month of September, we highlight suicide prevention to raise awareness among staff, Veterans and communities,”
“To bridge connections and prevent suicides, we reach out to those in need.” says Tara A. Consolino, MSW, LMSW Director of Suicide Prevention. “A few simple and immediate actions you can take to assist Veterans you love is to reach out via text, email, telephone or in person. Make sure they know that someone is there just as the Detroit VA is here for all our Veterans.”
What you can do
Be There suggests several simple actions that can help make a difference for a veteran:
- 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, 7 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.