September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to remind veterans and their loved ones through the “Be There” campaign that small actions can make a big difference to veterans who are experiencing difficult times.

During this and every month the St. Cloud VA remains committed to spreading awareness of suicide prevention to veterans and their supporters and connecting them to the resources they need. “Be There” suggests several simple actions can help make a difference for a veteran.

Those actions one can do include:

• Learning about the warning signs of suicide, which can be found on the veterans crisis line Web site.

• Watching the free S.A.V.E. training video in order to learn how to respond with care and compassion if someone indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.

• Contacting VA’s coaching into care program where a licensed psychologist or social worker will provide loved ones with guidance for motivating veterans to seek the support they need. 

• Sharing stories of hope and recovery from VA’s Make the Connection.

• Reaching out to veterans in your life to show them you care by sending a check-in text, cook them dinner or simply asking, “How are you?”

For additional information, visit BeThereForVeterans.com/.

Community members who are interacting with veterans are asked to “be there” for them and to know the local and national points of care that are available.

Veterans concerned about mental health issues can receive same-day services at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center in Building 111, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday or from the Urgent Care Clinic in Building 1, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 365 days a year.

Veterans can also call a VA nurse at (320) 252-1670, 24 hours a day.

Veterans with thoughts of suicide or harming themselves or others should call the veterans crisis line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255, text to 838255, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, call 911 or go to the nearest community hospital emergency department.

- Image courtesy of the Internet Public Domain