In the Spotlight

Be There: Help Save a Life

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Everyone can play a role in preventing suicide. Many people don't know how they can support the Veteran or Servicemember in their life who's going through a difficult time.

 

 

During Suicide Prevention Month this September (and year-round), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) are letting people know that preventing suicide starts with a simple act of support: Be There.

Helping someone feel included and supported can make a big difference during a challenging time. And it doesn't require a grand gesture or complicated task. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone.

Small actions of support - calling up an old friend, checking in on a neighbor, cooking someone dinner, or inviting a colleague on a walk - are thoughtful ways to show you care. Similarly, encouraging Veterans and Service members to take time for themselves and to focus on their own health and wellness can have a big impact.

Everyone also should be aware of the signs of crisis, which require immediate attention from a medical or mental health professional:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drug abuse or the dangerous use of weapons

If you notice these signs in yourself or a Veteran loved one, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255 to get confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Remind the Veterans and Servicemembers in your life that you support them. One small act can make a big difference for those in crisis.