Veterans suicide prevention initiatives offer support

    Sadly, 20 veterans a day die by suicide.  Just as in the general population, there is no single cause of suicide among veterans. A death by suicide often reflects the complex interaction of risk factors at the individual, community, and societal levels.
    “Veteran suicide is not just a Battle Creek issue, it is a national issue.” said James Doelling, Medical Center Director.  “It is one that the Battle Creek VA continues to focus on with programs and initiatives to raise awareness and partner with the community.” said Doelling.  It is important to note that 14 out of the 20 veterans who commit suicide are not connected to the VA.  That raises the importance of community involvement to help make a difference.
    The Battle Creek VA Medical Center has dedicated suicide prevention coordinators who raise awareness on this important topic and want the community to help raise awareness of this important topic throughout the year.
    The Battle Creek VA Medical Center is leading an effort to spread awareness to key state leaders and organizations.  “Our goal is to significantly reduce suicide among all veterans whether or not they are enrolled in VA health care.” said Lindsey Cord, Battle Creek VAMC Suicide Prevention Coordinator.
    Suicide is a public health concern, but it can be prevented.  Communities work collectively to ensure the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans is the highest priority.  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, according to Cord.
    “You do not need to have special training to support the Veterans in your life. Even seemingly small actions can make a huge impact: Preventing suicide begins with just the willingness to be there,” said Cord.
    According to Cord, a person can show support by sending a veteran a simple text message, or inviting someone over to catch up, or sharing a positive thought.
    “Your words could be exactly what a veteran in crisis needs to hear, and it is a reminder of the many people out there who are willing to listen,” said Cord.
    Cord said, “Simply reaching out to a Veteran in need and opening the door for a discussion could make all the difference.
    To learn more ways to show support, visit VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere.
 

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