Support Veterans during Suicide Prevention Month - Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center

 

Support Veterans during Suicide Prevention Month

Words

#BeThere for that special person in your life. One small act of kindness can make all the difference.

By Linda Wondra, Public Affairs Officer
Friday, September 13, 2019

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center (aka the Walla Walla VA) is bringing awareness to the #BeThere campaign by encouraging community leaders, colleagues, and Veterans’ families and friends to help prevent suicide by showing support for those who may be going through a difficult time.

Suicide is a complex national public health issue that affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 Americans, including more than 6,000 Veterans, dying by suicide every year. But suicide is preventable. VA is using a community-driven approach to prevent suicide and finding innovative ways to deliver support and care to all 20 million U.S. Veterans whenever and wherever they need it.

“The Walla Walla VA is working hard to end Veteran suicide, but we know that only about a third of Veterans come to VA for health care,” said Christopher R. Bjornberg, Medical Center Director. “That’s why we need everyone in the community to get involved. This September, and all year, I encourage everyone to take a moment to be there for Veterans in need. One act of thoughtfulness can make a big difference and may even save a life.”

Veterans Crisis LIne Logo

If you need help, or if you know someone who needs help, call the Veterans Crisis Line.

You don’t need special training to prevent suicide. Everyone can play a role by learning to recognize warning signs, showing compassion and care to Veterans in need, and offering your support. Here are some actions anyone can take to "Be There":

  • Reach out to the Veterans in your life to show them you care. Send a check-in text, cook them dinner, treat them to a coffee, 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.

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




Share



Get Updates

Subscribe to Receive
Email Updates