The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Friday, June 19, 2009

VA Suicide Lifeline Takes to the Streets

This afternoon, the VA announced that it will be publicizing the VA suicide prevention lifeline, 1-800-823-TALK (8255), on more than 21,000 buses in 124 communities across the country. The VA hopes to reach more veterans through the direct marketing campaign, which proved successful during last summer's trial run in Washington, D.C. To view the VA's press release about the program, Click Here.

The VA launched the hotline in July 2007 as a way to offer 24-hour assistance to veterans in need of critical counseling. AMVETS has proudly supported the VA effort since its inception, prominently displaying the hotline on all of its Web sites and in printed materials.

To date, the VA says that more than 3,000 veterans have been rescued as a result of the hotline, with more than 120,000 veterans and their loved ones seeking counsel through the service.

Suicide prevention is a serious issue to AMVETS, which is vocally calling for all VA medical centers to meet the compliance deadlines for the VA's Strategic Mental Health Plan and the Uniform Mental Health Services Handbook. The handbook will help to ensure that all VA centers offer a certain level of care to veterans coping with combat stress issues.

To visit the VA's suicide prevention Web site, Click Here.

(Image: Suicide prevention banner from the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site. Image is in the public domain.)

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