Simple actions can help save a life.
Suicide Prevention Month reminded us to Be There for Veterans, but it’s important to remember that our responsibility to Veterans doesn’t end when October begins. We all have a role to play in preventing Veteran suicide — not just in September, but year-round. Here are a few ways you can continue to support Veterans after Suicide Prevention Month:
- Learn the signs of suicide risk. Being able to recognize red flags can be critical in identifying someone at risk — and could help save a life. Read about warning signs at VeteransCrisisLine.net, or download VA’s Social Media Safety Toolkit to learn how to respond to social media posts that may indicate emotional distress or thoughts of suicide.
- Familiarize yourself with resources. Veterans and their families have access to many free resources — available both within and outside of VA. Find the contact information for your local VA medical center and Suicide Prevention Coordinator, and locate resources such as counselors and treatment centers, at VeteransCrisisLine.net/ResourceLocator. In addition, save the Veterans Crisis Line number in your phone so that you always have it on hand: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.
- Watch the S.A.V.E. training video. PsychArmor offers a free online course that can empower anyone to play a role in suicide prevention. Watch this training video to learn about the signs of suicide risk and how to respond to someone who may be in crisis.
- Spread the word. Download #BeThere content and graphics and share them on your social media platforms to raise awareness and remind your followers that suicide is preventable and help is available.
- Be There. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference in helping someone feel less alone. Meet with a Veteran for coffee, send a text to check in, or post on social media to let your followers know that you’re always there to listen.
For more ways to support Veterans after Suicide Prevention Month, 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.