Bystanders should take talk of suicide seriously, and not be afraid to ask veterans in a mental health crisis if they are thinking about it, she said. Help can be avialable at a hospital mergency room or through a crisis line. Veterans should know underlying symptoms can be treated sucessfully, she added.
“If you can help the person overcome that immediate crisis … you’ve gone a long way,” she said.
RELATED: Dayton VA focuses on suicide prevention
Among other things, the Dayton VA pledged Thursday to set up a “buddy system” for veterans, expand predictive modeling during appointments to identify veterans at risk, and require all employees complete suicide prevention training.
The medical center also would include a veterans’ crisis line on all emails and distribute it to employees, increase the number of veterans and health care providers using Telemental Health Services, and partner with veterans and community groups on the prevention initiative.
The Veterans Crisis Line phone number is 800-273-8255 or dialing the Dayton VA at 937-268-6511, and then pressing 7. Additional help is available at www.veteranscrisisline.net.