Saturday, November 6, 2010

VA releases suicide prevention street ads

From U.S. Navy Seals blog:

In a previous post, we talked a bit about the sad reality of increasing suicide rates among those who served – and are serving – in the military. The various branches of the military all actively implement suicide prevention programs for service members who need help. These programs are all represented in the Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee, chaired by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USHUS) Cmdr. Janet Hawkins, of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE).

One of the resources available to service members or friends and loved ones of those who need help is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK.

A post on the website of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shared the efforts of the VA to ensure that people know about the Lifeline. Last week, almost 1,200 ads that carry messages of hope for service members facing emotional crises, and details for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, were put up by the VA on city buses, bus shelters, rail and subway stations across the country.

Eric K. Shinseki, VA Secretary, shared: “I know of one Veteran who saw these signs on a bus shelter, called the hotline, and came to VA for help that same day… That Veteran had been walking out to the desert to take his own life. There are thousands of other Veterans like him who are still with us today as a direct result of the hotline. It’s important that we get the word out to everyone who put their lives on the line in defense of this Nation.”