At the time I write this, two highly visible figures took their own life and dies by suicide within the last week. I’ve written about suicide before, but once again wanted to share options for support for service members, veterans, and their families seeking support in times of crisis.
VA Suicide Prevention Hotline
One option is to call or visit the VA Suicide Prevention Hotline. You can call…many know the number, 1-800-273-8255, press 1…or text and chat online. Some say they don’t want to try it, don’t trust it, and think it’s a waste of time, but that’s irrelevant if someone is in crisis.
Vets 4 Warriors
An alternative to the VA Suicide Prevention Hotline is Vets 4 Warriors, a 24/7 confidential peer support network for veteran and military communities. Staffed by veterans, this program also has options for phone, text, and online chat.
State and Local Hotlines
There are local hotlines available for support. A quick search for your state and “suicide prevention hotline” will provide numerous choices
As with everything else, there are apps that support reaching out. One that shows great promise is the Objective Zero App, a mobile app and 501(c)(3) nonprofit that anonymously connects veterans to suicide prevention resources and a community of veterans, counselors, and concerned citizens.
Alternatively, there are websites that provide suicide prevention and awareness, such as Stacy Freedenthal’s Speaking of Suicide, this article I wrote for Task and Purpose on what to say to a veteran contemplating suicide, or other resources on this website for suicide awareness.
So I said all that to say this: Watch for signs in your brothers and sisters. Take care of your family. And remember veterans, you’re not alone…ever.