Veteran suicide isn’t just a national issue, it’s one the Tomah VA continues to focus on with programs and initiatives to make suicide prevention everyone’s business.
The VA’s successful BeThere campaign continues to bring attention and support, emphasizing the fact that one small act could save the life of a Veteran or Service Member in crisis.
“We are not only guided by the statistics, but also the Veterans we see each and every day in this medical center,” said Victoria Brahm, Director of the Tomah VA Medical Center. “It’s up to all of us to learn how we can jump into action if we speak to someone who needs support.”
In August 2016, VA released a national suicide data report, Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans, 2001–2014. The report was the most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the United States, examining more than 55 million records from 1979 to 2014. The startling data indicated:
· An average of 20 Veterans died from suicide each day. 6 of the 20 were users of VA health services in 2013 or 2014.
· Veterans accounted for 18% of all deaths from suicide among U.S. adults, while Veterans constituted 8.5% of the US population.
· Approximately 67% of all Veteran deaths from suicide were the result of firearm injuries.
Important VA resources include the Veteran Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255, Press 1; online chat at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net, and texting to 838255.
“One call, one chat, or one text can open the door to hope,” said Brahm.
The Tomah VA Medical Center offers many services for Veterans in Wisconsin and Minnesota, including resources for homeless Veterans, mental health counseling and special programs for women Veterans and Veterans of operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. We are here to answer each Veteran’s need.
For more on VA’s Suicide Prevention resources, visit these websites: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net, https://maketheconnection.net, www.va.gov.