Suicide is a national public health concern that affects all Americans, including veterans, their families, and their friends.

At the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we recognize Suicide Prevention Month each September to raise awareness of veteran suicide prevention and empower veterans to connect with the resources they need now to prevent suicide later.

Resources for veterans

Whether veterans are looking for clinical care, counseling, assistance with benefits, or something else, local and national tools and resources are available.

Our behavioral health providers and suicide prevention care coordinators at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System can get you the support you need. We work with providers and community organizations to assist

Veterans who are managing emotional or mental health crises. Connect with us to get ongoing support, like counseling and other services.

National crisis resources are also available. The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects any Veteran or their loved ones to a real person specially trained to support veterans, any time, any day:

• Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

• Text a message to 838255

• Chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat

Can you help to reach out?

Together, we can help prevent Veteran suicide. We ask each of you to commit to doing any one of these five actions:

1. Reach out to a veteran: Show you care by making a call or sending a text or email. If you send a text/email, you can write something as simple as: “How’s everything going? I’m here for you if you want to talk. I can help you find support if you need it.”

2. Hear veteran stories: Veterans are strong, driven, and resilient. But everyone needs help sometimes. More than 600 veterans and family members have shared their stories of finding support and overcoming challenges. Check out some of these powerful videos at: MakeTheConnection.net.

3. Be prepared and learn more about suicide prevention: Find out how to spot warning signs of an emotional or mental health crisis, learn how to support a veteran who might be at risk for suicide, or find mental health and suicide prevention resources.

4. Find resources: Visit Reach.gov/SPM to find support near you. Just enter a ZIP code for a range of acute care and outpatient services.

5. Spread the word: You don’t need to be an expert to make a difference.

Life certainly has its challenges, but it can be better if we work together and support each other through #VAReachOut.

Michael T. Kilmer is the director of VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, which serves more than 96,000 unique veteran patients in eastern Colorado. Ralph Gigliotti, FACHE, is the director of the VA Rocky Mountain Network, which is responsible for serving veterans through eight health care systems, across five primary states: Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma, Wyomin, and Utah.

Michael T. Kilmer is the Director, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, which serves more than 96,000 unique Veteran patients in Eastern Colorado. Ralph Gigliotti, FACHE, is the Director of the VA Rocky Mountain Network, which is responsible for serving Veterans through eight health care systems, across five primary states: Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Utah.

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