September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is still a tragedy.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has programs to reduce the supposed 22 veterans who commit suicide per day. But so far, little success seems to be reported.
To put the subject into perspective, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported
“suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death among adults in the United States.“
However, to help address the issue, the VA has posted some recognizable signs for families and friends of Veterans concerning behavior that could very well lead to suicide:
• Hopelessness, feeling like there is no way out
• Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
• Feeling like there is no reason to live
• Feelings of rage or anger
• Doing risky activities without thinking
• Increased alcohol or drug use
• Withdrawing from family and friends
Each of you can help reduce suicides by going to any of these three links to assist any veteran or active duty military personnel who might be having thoughts of suicide:
1. Call the VA Helpline: 800.273.8255 or logon to their website, Veterans Crisis Line.
2. Otherwise, locate a nearby Suicide Crisis Center by going to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8355 anytime 24/7.
3. The Suicide Prevention for Military, Veterans and Support Group is a place “for Vets to have a place to talk with other Vets and supporters when they are dealing with personal issues! The ultimate goal of this group will be to support any Service member, or prior Service member with any help we can, and to get them the resources they need for help.”
There is one more:
4. Make The Connection is a VA online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.
Let’s all of us do our part too!