September is Suicide Prevention Month. As such the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is getting the message out about the Veterans Crisis Line. This resource exists to provide veterans, their families, and their friends with a place to turn and a person to talk to in moments of crisis.
Every hour of the day, every day of the week, and every week of the year, trained and caring responders are waiting to talk to anyone who calls for support. Many of these responders are veterans themselves.
The phone number for this hotline is 1-800-273-8255, and then press 1. In addition to this traditional hotline, there is also an option to chat online (http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ChatTermsOfService.aspx), or via text message (text: 838255).
The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that an average of 22 veterans take their own lives every day. Every life saved is a victory.
And the crisis line can help. Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki recently described the successes of the veterans crisis line. He stated in a recent speech to the American Legion that since its inception, the crisis line has helped to stop 30,000 suicides-in-progress. This figure is staggering, but there are still far too many veterans who take their lives each day.
This September, help spread the word. Make sure the veterans around you know that there are people they can talk to.