GAINESVILLE/LAKE CITY ‒ 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 North Florida/ South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF/SGHVS) remains committed to spreading awareness of suicide prevention to Veterans and their supporters and connecting them to the resources they need.
“At VA we are proud to play a leading role in this important national effort” stated Thomas Wisnieski, health system Director. “Each one of us can learn to either be a resource, or direct people in need of resources.”
“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 at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/education/signs-of-crisis.
- Watching the free https://psycharmor.org/courses/s-a-v-e/ to learn how to respond with care and compassion if someone indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.
- Contacting VA’s https://www.mirecc.va.gov/coaching/ 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 https://maketheconnection.net/
- 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 http://bethereforveterans.com/.
NF/SGVHS offers a range of services to Veterans who are at risk of suicide, to include same day urgent care mental health services and primary care mental health integration. Suicide prevention coordinators are available to speak with any Veteran and/or family member experiencing a crisis they are also able to provide education and outreach efforts.
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 http://veteranscrisisline.net/Chat.
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