Salem VA Medical Center highlights suicide prevention month

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - September is Suicide Prevention Month and the Salem VA Medical Center wants to encourage veterans it’s okay to seek help.

Katie Foust, a suicide prevention manager with the center, says suicide rates are on the rise for the general public and veterans.

“We want them to reach out to care and we want them to get the care they need and feel confident that we can serve them at our medical center,” says Foust.

The center provides residential programs for substance abuse, walk-in clinics and specially trained psychologists who can help veterans transitioning from the military or going through a difficult time in life.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the Salem VA Suicide Prevention Team at 540-982-2463 Ext. 2436

You can also call the Veterans and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 for 24/7 support from a trained responder who can also connect people directly to local Suicide Prevention.

Make the Connection is where more than 600 veterans and family members share their stories of strength and recovery.

MyVA411 is where veterans, their families, and caregivers can call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) to easily access information on VA benefits and services.

VA Solid Start connects veterans with qualified representatives who call three times during a veteran’s first year of separation to walk through the benefits available. The Self-Check Assessment is a confidential, anonymous risk assessment veterans can use to help them understand if and how stress and depression are affecting them.

Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can get free, confidential support through the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, where trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Veterans do not have to be registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans.

Veterans and loved ones can also find additional, external resources on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services tool.

For more information and resources, visit

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text 838255, or chat online at Veterans don’t have to be enrolled in VA health care or registered with VA to use the Veterans Crisis Line.

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