2015-2016 National Hospital Ambassador
Hospital: September is Suicide Awareness Month
We strive to bring Veteran and Military Suicide Awareness information to our members and community throughout the year and it is especially important to do so in September, which is Suicide Prevention Month.
Each day, an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide. You can help lower this number and make a difference in the life of a veteran or service member in crisis by educating yourself and others about the warning signs of suicide.
The blue teardrop is the VFW Auxiliary’s symbol that we can use to open a conversation to give this issue the attention so desperately needed. Members have shown their creativity in creating pins, necklaces, buttons, stickers, etc using the teardrop. You can use the teardrop template which is available on the National Organization’s Hospital Program page. Wear it when you run errands, attend meeting, church, at work, etc. When asked what the teardrop is, share that it’s to create awareness for veteran and military suicide.
The Veterans Crisis Line began in 2007 and has saved tens of thousands of lives. In addition to the hotline, it also offers an anonymous online chat service and a text-messaging service to provide support 24/7. Those who take the calls to the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained to understand the challenges the veteran and their families have faced, helping veterans of all ages and circumstances. Some responders are veterans themselves. Learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line here: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/About/AboutVeteransCrisisLine.aspx
Did you know that if you are concerned about a veteran that YOU can make that call? Those closest to a veteran may be the first to realize that he/she is at risk. By learning the warning signs/signs of crisis, you could be the one that saves the life of a veteran.
To join the “Power of 1 Movement” where ‘One small act can make a difference in the life of a veteran or service member in crisis.’ You will learn to identify the early warning signs of a veteran who may be in crisis and can download material to distribute to your members and community. If you are near a VA Hospital, contact their Suicide Prevention Coordinator for more information or to schedule a training session for your members.
Every life is precious. Let’s work together to support those who have given so much for us.
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1, Text Messaging: 838255