Help veterans to heal invisible wounds during Suicide Prevention Month
September is Suicide Prevention Month. For veterans, this is especially relevant. With nearly 20 veterans on average taking their own lives each day, no effort to prevent this horrible statistic is without merit.
Battle wounds – whether physical or invisible – can debilitate veterans after their service. And the invisible wounds in particular are the ones that tend to fester and grow over time.
The struggles of guilt, the feelings of horror, and the stresses of life all seem to be compounded once a veteran has finished his or her service, and if not being properly treated for these ticking time bombs, things can turn south in a hurry.
So let’s do all we can to help prevent veterans from taking their own lives! Spread the word, and please share the following resources with your contacts, and any veterans, caregivers, or veteran advocates you know.
There is help available, and even if a veteran feels there’s no other way out, it’s important to know that there are viable alternatives. Life is worth living, even if you feel like it isn’t. So please help us spread the word, and make veteran suicide a thing of the past.
Where do I get help?
Invisible wounds can build over time, and sometimes they may not really show up until months or years after experiencing trauma. By seeking help, veterans learn how to cope with the lasting symptoms and address the issues directly.
If you’re in need of help, there are many resources available to you.
If you’re experiencing a crisis, or you’re having thoughts of suicide:
- Call 911
- Go to the nearest Emergency Room
- Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
- Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 (text 838255) or Confidential Veterans Chat with a counselor
Here are other helpful resources, courtesy of the VA’s National Center for PTSD:
PTSD Care for Everyone
- Finding a Therapist – Information, phone numbers and websites to help locate care for PTSD.
- Help for Family and Friends – Learn about resources to help you take care of yourself while supporting someone with PTSD.
PTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and Families
- See Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.
- All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.
- Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.
- If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.
- Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center 1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.
- DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injuryprovides information and helps locate resources.
- Call 1-866-966-1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Military OneSource
- Call 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.
- Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care, Benefits, or Claims.