Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Veterans Crisis Hotline-Suicide Hotline

Much has been said about the increase of veteran and service member suicides. The numbers
continue to grow at an alarming pace. Help is available, although it is sometimes difficult
to find the right help. The VA recognizes this problem, DoD recognizes the problem. Do not
give up, find and get the help you need.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working very hard to help prevent  the suicide of veterans and
military personnel. A report from the VA says that 462.854 calls were made to the VA Crisis Line
as of July 31, 2011.

259,891 of those calls were from veterans and 6,030 calls were from active duty military members.
The VA rescued 16,855 veterans and military personnel.

If you or a loved has suicidal thoughts, or thoughts of self harm the phone number to call
is 1-800-273-8255. This number is same as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Veterans and military members must push 1 which will connect them directly to the Department
of Veterans Affairs responders. If you do not push 1 your call will then go to the normal
Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

While the VA has received a lot of "bad press", and many complaints about the policies that
hindered availability of mental health care for so many veterans, it is unfair to pain all VA
healthcare professionals with the same brush. It is true that the VA does have some problems
and some people that do not seem to be thinking of the problems their patients face.

But, so many of the people working for and with the VA do care very much about their
veterans; they give of their own time, working overtime and spending long hours from
their families and personal life to do all they can to help their patients.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996