You’ve served your country. Maybe you’ve been happy in the past, but now you experience anxiety attacks, or find everyday life to be too stressful. Maybe you can’t sleep because you worry about so many things. Perhaps lately, people just annoy you and you want to pick a fight or punch a wall. Or maybe you’re lonely, don’t seem to fit in anywhere, and believe that your future is hopeless. If you feel this way, you are not alone. And good news is, there’s help right now.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones may call 800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained to help Veterans, and the families and friends of Veterans, through any crisis. Many of the responders are Veterans themselves.
Crisis feels different for each person and can stem from a wide range of situations. Some Veterans are coping with aging, stress, or lingering effects from their military service, which were never addressed. Many recent Veterans have difficulty with their relationships or the transition back to civilian life.
Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 40,000 calls and made over 19,000 life-saving rescues. In 2009 the Veterans Crisis line added an anonymous online chat service which has helped more than 4,000 Veterans. To visit the Veterans Crisis Line website, click here.
“Certainly the holidays are stressful for a lot of people,” said SFVAMC Suicide Prevention Coordinator Mark Stalnaker, PhD. “It’s a time when our Veterans can use the extra support, and we are here 24/7 to provide the support and services they need.” If a local Veteran is in crisis or needs immediate support, another option besides calling the Veterans Crisis Line is to come directly to the San Francisco VA Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED), which is always open. “At the ED we assess for any medical or psychiatric acute issues that might need addressing,” said Stalnaker. Veterans are then treated and referred for follow-up VA programs and services.
Click here to find more information, such as how to recognize the warning signs of a crisis, suicide and crisis resources, take a self-check quiz, or connect up now with a confidential chat.
So whatever’s got you down – the Veterans Crisis Line 800-273-8255, and your San Francisco VA Medical Center (for psychiatric emergencies call 415-750-6674) will provide the support you need. Right now!