VA San Diego is committed to doing everything we can to prevent Veteran suicide. To that end, our team of six suicide prevention coordinators engages in Veteran outreach throughout San Diego, provides support and monitoring for at-risk Vets and participates in suicide prevention programs including using predictive modeling based on patient health records, VA’s Opioid Safety Initiative and the distribution of gun locks, among other programs. But, we need your help, too.
Year-round, the VA empowers communities to take action to support our nation’s Veterans. Each community across the country plays a role in supporting Veterans, but as an individual you may not know what to do or where to start.
You don’t need to have special training to support the Veterans in your life, and we can all do something to help a Veteran who is going through a difficult time. Even seemingly small actions can have a huge impact: Preventing suicide begins with just the willingness to Be There.
Showing your support can be as simple as sending a Veteran a text message — inviting someone over to catch up or sharing a positive thought are both great ways to communicate that you care. Your words could be exactly what a Veteran in crisis needs to hear and could be a reminder of the many people out there who are willing to listen.
Simply reaching out to a Veteran in need and opening the door for a discussion could make all the difference. Learn more ways to show your support and Be There by visiting VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere to find more resources and information.
Robert M Smith, MD
VA San Diego Health Care System