As part of its ongoing effort to prevent Veteran suicide, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a new partnership with the non-profit organization America Salutes You.  This partnership will help raise awareness of mental health resources for service members, Veterans, and their loved ones.     

The partnership will promote VA’s Be There campaign and share suicide prevention resources through videos, public service announcements, and broadcast events streaming online and airing on television networks across the country.

The “Be There” campaign was implemented in September of 2016.  The campaign highlights the risk factors and warning signs for suicide, provides information about VA mental health and suicide prevention resources and helps individuals and organizations start the conversation around Veteran mental health in their communities.

Through this partnership, America Salutes You will add resources to the Be There campaign by hosting concerts and events to educate Veterans and their loved ones about suicide prevention, emphasizing access to VA care.

As part of VA’s National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide, these events use a public health approach to reach Veterans in their communities. They aim to raise awareness about mental health, social determinates of suicide, and suicide prevention resources through social media and streaming services.

Suicide is a complex problem, and it requires coordinated, evidence-based solutions that reach beyond the traditional medical model of prevention. Ensuring access to quality mental health services for those in need is one part of a broader solution, but not sufficient on its own.

“Educating the public about suicide prevention resources is key to curbing Veteran suicide,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA’s partnership with America Salutes You shows a solid combined effort towards improving Veterans’ overall health and well-being.”

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call VCL for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

Media covering this issue can download VA’s Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet or visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.org for important guidance on communicating about suicide.