Have you seen the email? Maybe it was a post on Facebook?
It says, “Right now, while you’re reading this … put this in your phone. National Veterans Crisis Line, 800-273-8255. You never know when you or a Veteran you know might need some help, right now. Now you have a number that can help.” And put a note with the number — when you call the number, press 1 to be connected to responders who work with Veterans.
As this September and Suicide Prevention Month come to a close, make sure you have the tools you need when someone you know needs help. You don’t need to make a grand gesture: A simple act of kindness shows you care.
If you are worried about Veterans who may be at risk for suicide, here’s what you can do to help connect them with treatment and support:
- If you are concerned that a Veteran is in crisis or at immediate risk for suicide, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. Caring, qualified VA responders can help you determine ways to keep someone safe and connect the Veteran you care about with support.
- If you notice that a Veteran is going through a difficult time and aren’t sure how to start a conversation or how to connect them with support, contact VA’s Coaching into Care program. Call 1-888-823-7458 to connect with a licensed clinical social worker or psychologist who can help you figure out how to help motivate someone to get support.
- Visit VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere to learn how you and others in your community can Be There to prevent suicide, and download materials you can share at VeteransCrisisLine.net/SpreadTheWord.
But right now … put the number in your phone. Share the message that a Veteran in crisis, or at immediate risk for suicide, is one phone call away from caring, qualified responders. Have them call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to speak with them.