Suicide Prevention Awareness - William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
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William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

 

Suicide Prevention Awareness

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

By Nancy Krug, Suicide Prevention Coordinator
Friday, September 9, 2011

If you or a loved one struggle with issues related to suicide, there’s no need to manage alone.

The VA has recognized that Veterans are at increased risk for suicide and has implemented a national suicide prevention strategy.  The VA program is based on a public health approach while recognizing that suicide prevention requires ready access to high quality Mental Health Services.

Suicide Prevention Team Goals at Madison VA Hospital

Here at the Madison VA Hospital, the goals of our Suicide Prevention Team include identifying Veterans at risk in order to provide access to enhanced care; educating providers, Veterans, families and members of the community about risk factors and warning signs for suicide; evaluating facility trends among our high risk Veterans and outreach with National Guard and Reserve service members. 

Treatment Strategies

Treatment strategies for addressing suicidality are diverse and individualized. At the Madison VA Hospital, many mental health services can be leveraged for our high risk Veterans who often have multiple complex psychosocial concerns.  We also partner with our Medical, Social Work, OIF/OEF and homeless programs to support Veterans in crisis.

Warning Signs

Warning signs for increased risk of suicide are complex and difficult to evaluate. Some warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Hopelessness
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Developing a plan to die by suicide
  • Agitation
  • Social isolation
  • Recent losses
  • Mental health or substance abuse difficulties and many more

Our Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255) will partner with the Veteran, family or loved ones to provide confidential assessment and crisis management plus referral to your local Suicide Prevention Coordinator. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has saved more than 10,000 Veterans and provided counseling for more than 180,000 Veterans and their loved ones.

Suicide is 100% preventable and no Veteran or their loved ones should feel like they cannot receive access to help.  Recognize the signs of suicide and seek help immediately. 

For more information about suicide prevention, visit the following web sites:

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