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Commissioner’s Challenge on Suicide Prevention

Benefit Category: State
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The North Dakota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is challenging all Organization Leaders in North Dakota to accept the challenge of ensuring their members take the S.A.V.E. training to help prevent veteran suicides.

"The military along with many other organizations provide First Aid training to its members. First Aid training saves lives in Medical Emergencies, S.A.V.E. training saves lives in Behavior Health Emergencies".

This challenge involves only two steps (about 25 minutes of your time).

First step: Add the below contact information to your phone so you are prepared to help


     PHONE: 800-273-8255 (24 hour suicide lifeline) press 1 for veterans

     WEBSITE: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

     TEXT: 838-255 to chat

     IM: veteranscrisisline.net/chat 

Second step: Register and take the 23 minute online training (requires sign in) or on YouTube (no sign in required).

The S.A.V.E. video was a collaborative effort between the Veterans Administration and PsychArmor Institute, designed to empower viewers with the basic knowledge of what the signs may be for someone who is struggling with the thoughts of suicide and it provides ideas on how to help.  While the video refers to Veterans, the principles are universal, so let's make a difference in North Dakota with S.A.V.E.!

  • Organizations can request in person training at the Fargo VA.
  • Report completed in person training to:   NDCares@nd.gov

Accept the Challenge and email NDCares@nd.gov

September 2020 ZOOM S.A.V.E. training by Federal VA.

The Fargo VA Suicide Prevention Program is offering virtual training for Veterans, caregivers, and community members as an opportunity to learn more about how to help if you encounter a Veteran who is in a suicidal crisis. 

S. Signs fo Suicidal thinking should be recognized

A. Ask the most important question of all

V. Validate the Veteran's experience

E. Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help

Register for September 2020 online training held every Wednesday in September.

  • 9/2/2020 @ 3:00pm
  • 9/9/2020 @ 3:00pm (specifically for caregivers)
  • 9/16/2020 @ 10:00 am
  • 9/23/2020 @ 3:00pm
  • 9/30/2020 @ 10:00am

To register please email: Sarah.KempTabbut@va.gov 

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More information:

VA launched the S.A.V.E. online suicide prevention training video in collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, a national nonprofit providing online education and support to those who work with, live with, or care for Service members, Veterans, and military and Veteran families. S.A.V.E. — which stands for “Signs,” “Ask,” “Validate,” and “Encourage” and “Expedite” — offers simple steps that anyone can take when talking with Veterans who are at risk for suicide.

The ND Department of Veterans Affairs in collaboration with First Link, NDCARES, ND National Guard and the Federal VA in Fargo are challenging all entities in ND to encourage its employees and members to take the time to participate in this challenge. 

Statistics: VA National Suicide Data Report 2005-2016 and VA.GOV

Download Press Release

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Discharge Requests

Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 37-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and/or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).