An essay on veteran Suicide Rates and Prevention
22 veterans per day commit suicide in the United States. These men and women are our nation's heroes and yet we lay them to rest needlessly. The means of preventing these meaningless deaths is available. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline has created a special suicide prevention hotline for veterans in crisis. The veteran simply calls the number as usual. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Once the hotline answers veterans should press one. Pressing one automatically flags their call as being a veteran in crisis. The local Veterans Administration Medical Center or the one nearest them is then notified of the call. Each V. A. M. C. has a staff of trained professionals who contact the veteran and follow up to assess the crisis. If need be they can arrange transportation to and from the VA Medical System through the VA Transportation Network. They can also assist in many other areas and even do a psychiatric triage to determine if hospitalization is needed. there are numerous ways they can help. Their help doesn't stop with just one phone call either. They maintain contact with the veteran as needed to get them through the crisis.
As a veteran myself I talk to veterans all the time. Many times veterans returning from combat deal with excessive guilt and readjustment to civilian life. They ask themselves why they were spared when so many others weren't. Often they have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which leaves them hyper aware and nearly paranoid. They can't sleep at night and spend their waking hours dealing with the trauma that they faced. For many it is overwhelming and they take their own lives. As soldiers they are trained to kill so one final act of violence is not out of question. Let's help these heroes. Publicize the Veterans Crisis Line. That number again is 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.