VA mental health-care professionals and responders work every day to help Vets with mental health issues – sometimes even talking them down when they are in crisis. Understanding what these dedicated men and women, many of them Veterans themselves, do on a daily basis makes it difficult to look at a simple tweet as a potential lifesaver.

Click here to visit VA's twitter page

You might ask how information can make a difference in a person’s life when everything around him or her seems to be falling apart. Since starting this job I’ve been asked that question several times in one form or another. While the question is legitimate, the fact remains that before Veterans can be asked to trust and visit a program they first have to know it exists.

It’s not always easy to find a correlation between a tweet or Facebook post and a Veteran calling the Veterans Crisis Line, but people are more connected through social media than ever before. Information may take time to turn into action, but getting it to Veterans and loved ones – who usually encourage their Vet to seek help – is our priority.

 

Throughout September, we joined others to focus on suicide prevention and mental health by getting the word out on programs like the crisis line. Thanks to dedicated followers and partners like American Legion, DAV and Joining Forces, this combined outreach effort for Suicide Prevention Month gives a lifeline toVeterans looking for assistance.

And the outreach continues beyond September. This year’s theme, “It Matters,” emphasizes the people, relationships and experiences that matter to Veterans and their loved ones, reinforcing their personal connections and giving their lives hope and meaning.  To spark conversation about the difficult topics of suicide risk and prevention, VA unveiled the photo-sharing campaign, “Show Us What Matters,” inviting Veterans and their loved ones to upload photos of the special people in their lives.

Click here to watch Joining Forces message

So as we close out September, remember to keep reaching out to Veterans in crisis. Preventing Veteran suicides is a daily undertaking for thousands of VA mental health care professionals and our partners. Sharing and retweeting can seem as if it’s not enough when we lose Veterans every day, but getting information to those in need  is worth it if even one person is saved.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Adam Williams October 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Adam Williams Specialist 74D in the TN Army National Guard last four 5527. Signed a waiver turned it into the Regional Office, it didn’t appear that any moneys were removed for repayment (due to backpay last year in benefits) So I asked my Sgt to stop my entitlement paycheck. I’m wondering how much the VA has down that I owe, and whether or not Drill payments are going towards paying down the debt to the VA for last year. Thank you

  2. Juan September 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I am Veteran Honorable Discharge, due to my SC disabilities I couldn’t work since February 2012 I almost lost my house, I encounter so many problems, I fight over the phone literally with the bank to try to modify my mortgage for almost 10 months, almost kill myself for so much depression I was experiencing, yes VA helped me on taking me to the hospital, after the bank finalized modify my mortgage I recieve a bill from the ambulance that I owed them almost $1000.00 so here me again fighting with this ambulance service. My claim is over due, appeal is bouncing from one department to another. On top of that all my pain all my suffering is off the roof, what else I can do???

  3. Rose September 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Great Post! My grandfather committed suicide many years ago. This post makes me hopeful that others will find the help they need before they go down that path. I, too, suffer from mental health issues and have contemplated suicide in the past. Am I able to get help from the crisis line even though I am not a veteran?

    • Reynaldo Leal September 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Yes, Rose. Please contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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