WASHINGTON, D.C. (WYTV) – September is National Suicide Prevention month. And while the Centers for Disease Control says suicide rates are up in all categories – the numbers are particularly high for veterans.
The Veterans Administration wants people to know everyone can help support vets who might be going through a tough time.
The agency has launched a new ad campaign to raise public awareness, called “Be There.”
Dr. Caitlin Thompson, with the Department of Veterans Affairs, says anyone can learn some of the warning signs.
“You don’t have to be a trained professional to support someone who may be going through a difficult time,” Thompson said. “We want to let people know that things they do every day, like calling an old friend or checking in with a neighbor, are strong preventive factors for suicide because they help people feel less alone. That’s what this campaign is about – encouraging people to be there for each other.”
The campaign also highlights VA resources that are available to support Veterans and Service members who are coping with mental health challenges or are at risk for suicide, and it encourages everyone to share these resources with someone in their life.