VA is committed to addressing the issue of suicide among our Veterans and offers a network of support available to those who have served our country. VA provides a confidential 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line for Veterans in crisis and their families. Trained VA professionals are available at all times to assist Veterans and their family members. Veterans and their families do not have to be enrolled in VA to use the free, confidential Veterans Crisis Line.
1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) is an around the clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as families members of combat Veterans. This benefit is prepaid through the Veteran’s military service.
Veterans Chat Link: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
The Suicide Prevention campaign of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has expanded it’s outreach to all Veterans by piloting an online, one-to-one “chat service” for Veterans who prefer reaching out for assistance using the Internet.
Called “Veterans Chat,” the new service enables Veterans, their families and friends to go online where they can anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor. If a “chatter” is determined to be in a crisis, the counselor can take immediate steps to transfer the person to the VA Suicide Prevention Hotline, where further counseling and referral services are provided and crisis intervention steps can be taken.
“This online feature is intended to reach out to all Veterans who may or may not be enrolled in the VA health care system and provide them with online access to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline,” said Dr. Gerald Cross, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health. “It is meant to provide Veterans with an anonymous way to access VA’s suicide prevention services.”
Veterans, family members or friends can access Veterans Chat through the suicide prevention Web site (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org). There is a Veterans tab on the left-hand side of the website that will take them directly to Veteran resource information. On this page, they can see the Hotline number (1-800-273-TALK), and click on the Veterans Chat tab on the right side of the Web page to enter.
Veterans retain anonymity by entering whatever names they choose once they enter the one-on-one chat. They are then joined by a counselor who is trained to provide information and respond to the requests and concerns of the caller.