VA recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month

Sept. 4, 2019
#BeThere campaign urges communities nationwide to support Veterans

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is encouraging Veterans, community leaders, co-workers, families and friends to #BeThere — to help prevent suicide — by being present, supportive and strong for those who may be going through a difficult time.

VA, in a press statement, says it is working closely with The White House and other partners to implement the government’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS).

The PREVENTS roadmap, an executive order signed in March 2019, is one step the administration says it is taking to promote research, community engagement — and collaboration in the public and private sector — and ultimately, to put an end to Veteran suicide.

Suicide is a complex, national public health issue that affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 Americans, including more than 6,000 Veterans, dying by suicide every year.

Everyone can play a role by learning to recognize warning signs, showing compassion to Veterans in need and offering support. Listed are actions anyone can take to Be There:

· Reach out to Veterans to show them you care. Send a check-in text, cook them dinner or simply ask, “How are you?”

· Learn the warning signs of suicide, found on the Veterans Crisis Line website.

· Watch the free S.A.V.E. training video to equip yourself to respond with care and compassion if someone you know indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.

· Check out VA’s Social Media Safety Toolkit to learn how to recognize and respond to social media posts that may indicate emotional distress, feelings of crisis or thoughts of suicide.

· Contact VA’s Coaching Into Care program when worried about a Veteran or loved one. A licensed psychologist or social worker will provide guidance on motivating your loved one to seek support.

Learn more about the #BeThere campaign and access resources to help support Veterans at