The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-profit training organization PsychArmor Institute are leading the charge against veteran suicide with a free online, suicide prevention training video titled “SAVE.” The new video is designed to provide anyone who interacts with at-risk veterans helpful tips on demonstrating care, support and compassion.
The VA and PsychArmor Institute hope that SAVE – which stands for Signs, Ask, Validate, Encourage and Expedite – will give family, friends, clinicians and others the power to help curb veteran suicides. The free, 25-minute training video – available online at psycharmor.org – covers three main topics:
“VA is leading efforts to prevent suicide among veterans, but it alone cannot end veteran suicide,” said Peter O’Rourke, acting secretary, VA, in a recent press release. “We need strategic partners, care providers and communities to join us in this effort. Resources such as ‘SAVE’ are crucial in helping all Americans support Veterans in their community.”
In general, suicide is becoming an increasingly common public health issue across the U.S. According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates in the country increased by 25 percent between 1999 and 2016 – with Ohio seeing an increase of 36 percent during the period. The VA has reported that veterans account for nearly a fifth of all U.S. suicides.
VA suicide prevention coordinators already have led the SAVE course at VA facilities and community centers across the U.S. VA officials explained the online training video series by saying it “extends and promotes this important training outside the VA and is critical in helping everyone play a role in suicide prevention.”
Veterans having thoughts of suicide – along with anyone who knows a veteran in crisis – are encouraged to call the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat or send a text to 838255.