Before I begin – the most important part of what I have to say is this:
Veterans and their families and friends can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The holidays are here; and within the general civilian population, everyone knows suicides are up during the holidays. Well, I suspect the same is true for the veteran population (I said, “I suspect” because I don’t actually know the statistic on this). What I do know from the below documentary is the number of veteran and military suicides have increased at staggering rates (about 22 vets kill themselves every day) over the last 12 years.
I saw this documentary on HBO yesterday called Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1; and couldn’t help but think this was incredibly important to share. If you have a veteran in your life or you work with veterans, you should make a point of seeing this (it may be available on HBO GO); even if you don’t know a vet (which would be surprising), you should still see this – it may give you insight you didn’t have before.
My take away: Holy Shit – the people at the crisis hotline are amazing. There is only one location for this hotline – Canandaigua, NY – and the people who staff this hotline are some incredibly brave and caring individuals. They take these calls, never ever knowing what the outcome will be when they pick up the call, but they keep on answering the phone. More than even their bravery is their compassion. Every one of these people want to help save a life – that’s why they are working at the one hotline that veterans can call when they are at the lowest place of their lives, thinking about ending the nightmares, the flashbacks, and the pain. The line is staffed with mental health professionals and some veterans – 250 people in all, I think. Think about what it would take to do this job – could you do it, day in and day out?
Hats off to Ellen Goosenberg Kent for telling this story! A huge heartfelt thanks to the people at the Veterans Crisis Hotline.
Parents and Loves Ones, again: Please know that you can call: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to get your veteran the help they need. The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat, and text-messaging service. Veterans and their families and friends can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.
Since 2001, more veterans have died by their own hand than in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one veteran dies by suicide in America every 80 minutes. While only 1% of Americans has served in the military, former service members account for 20% of all suicides in the U.S.
Based in Canandaigua, NY and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Veterans Crisis Line receives more than 22,000 calls each month from veterans of all conflicts who are struggling or contemplating suicide due to the psychological wounds of war and the challenges of returning to civilian life.
The timely documentary CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans, as seen through the work of the hotline’s trained responders, who provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members.