In support of Suicide Prevention Month, VA and Veterans of Foreign Wars teamed up for an #ExploreVA Facebook Live event to discuss how to recognize the need for mental health care and where to go to find help.
Dr. Keita Franklin, Executive Director of Suicide Prevention within VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and James Moss, Assistant Director for Veterans Health Policy at Veterans of Foreign Wars, provided information on a range of resources and services available to service members, Veterans and their family members. Dr. Franklin began by pointing out that for eligible service members, Veterans and family members, going into a Vet Center is a good first step.
“We have Vet Centers in communities wide and far, across all the states,” says Dr Franklin. Visit the VA Resource Locator to find local resources such as Suicide Prevention Coordinators, Crisis Centers and Vet Centers. Learn more at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/local-resources.
“This resource locator has a by-region list of all of our resources that are available. Particularly the specially-trained people called Suicide Prevention Coordinators… who are subject matter experts in suicide prevention and know how to navigate the system.”
With many family members and friends of service members and Veterans in the audience, Dr. Franklin outlined warning signs of crisis, such as relationship problems, feeling helpless or hopeless, feeling like a burden on others or withdrawing from friends and family. We all have a role to play in preventing suicide so the focus of the event shifted