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The VA further advanced our suicide prevention program by introducing an Internet-based, suicide prevention chat line designed to appeal to today’s Web-savvy Veterans. We must continue to leverage opportunities to access and intervene to save the lives of those in distress—after all, there’s an established protocol for every heart attack victim who comes through the doors of hospital emergency rooms in this country. Why shouldn’t potential suicide victims be afforded similarly systemic and consistent portals of help?  http://www.va.gov/opa/speeches/2010/10_0111hold.asp



The VA provides free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if you are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net* to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.  more http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/index.asp

Suicide Hotline


NEW WAYS THE VA IS REACHING PEOPLE Most Veterans do not live near a VA facility The VA created online and telephone programs to help those not living near a facility. One thing is clear—the old ways of approaching mental health counseling and suicide prevention will not work as effectively for youngsters of the new millennium. They are different from those who came before.  Most were born a decade after the last shots were fired in Vietnam. They’ve never used a dial phone; never watched black-and-white TV; and have never known a world without cell phones, the Internet, and instant messaging. They think fast, talk fast, act fast because they grew up that way.  Engaging them requires a new and different model—no longer across a desk in an imposing government building, but in coffee shops down-the-street, on their cell phones, on the Internet, or through a public service announcement they see on their flat screen TV or read about in a blog.  Transforming our VA culture to such a new, less formal, more open format demands, as well, greater collaboration and transparency in our services and in our service delivery. I’m speaking of an environment where mental health issues, in general, are de-mystified, de-stigmatized, accepted, and more effectively treated—where suicides are prevented because asking for help is a sign of courage; where there is meaningful outreach and ready access to high-quality care; where we identify those at highest risk; where emerging treatments and technologies, coupled with new drugs, advance the success of patient outcomes; where Veterans and active duty personnel don’t feel ashamed or threatened by the idea of mental or emotional problems; and where research encompasses complementary and alternative treatments so we may determine which are the safest and most effective in relieving suffering and restoring health.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/04/military_veterans_suicide_042210w/ Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department.  SUICIDE IS A VERY REAL ISSUE.  The VA has created several new innovative suicide prevention programs. Access to care appears to be a key factor, officials said, noting that once a veteran is inside the VA care program, screening programs are in place to identify those with problems, and special efforts are made to track those considered at high risk, such as monitoring whether they are keeping appointments.   A key part of the new data shows the suicide rate is lower for veterans aged 18 to 29 who are using VA health care services than those who are not. That leads VA officials to believe that about 250 lives have been saved each year as a result of VA treatment.  VA’s suicide hotline has been receiving about 10,000 calls a month from current and former service members. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Service members and veterans should push 1 for veterans’ services.

18 veterans commit suicide each day.


Female Soldiers' Suicide Rate Triples When at War.  Soldiers of Asian descent have dramatically higher suicide rates than other racial groups. Their risk is double or triple that of other soldiers, and four times higher in the war zone.  Suicide rates among men increase from 15 per 100,000 to 21 per 100,000 when they deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan. Findings also show that marriage somehow helps inoculate male and female soldiers from killing themselves while they are overseas. Although these death rates among GI's who are single or divorced double when they go to war, the rate among married soldiers does not increase, according to the study.  Scientists say they hope these and other findings will help them tease out protective social patterns — such as, for example, that sense in a marriage of mattering to someone else — that can be encouraged or instilled in all soldiers to lower the risk of suicide.

National Leadership  Summit on Military Families      Much information on what is the problem and solutions                             


According to the Humane Society of the United States, "Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year."

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Vets Adopt Pets seeks all Animal Care & Controls to offer Veterans, present Military personnel and their families a fee-waiver.
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