Post-9/11 Vet: Feeling Overwhelmed and Don't Know Where to Turn?
The Veterans Crisis Line Can Help
Whether Veterans recently returned home or completed their service years ago, their experiences remain a part of their lives and can have unexpected impacts. Close friends and family who know a Veteran best may be the first to recognize emotional distress. Warning signs include:
- Hopelessness, feeling like there is no way out
- Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
- Feeling like there is no reason to live
- Rage or anger
- Engaging in risky activities without thinking
- Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
- Withdrawing from family and friends
It can be difficult for Veterans to reach out for help, but the Veterans Crisis Line can be the first step toward getting help and support during difficult times.
The Veterans Crisis Line is a confidential, 24/7 toll-free hotline, online chat, and text service that connects Veterans in crisis with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responders. Friends and family members can also use the Veterans Crisis Line to get crisis care for their loved ones, even if they are not enrolled in VA or VA health care. And because the service offers anonymity, Veterans and their loved ones can contact the Veterans Crisis Line without sharing their name or personal information.
Some of the responders are Veterans themselves and understand the challenges of military service, and they are trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Responders provide support when issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, anger, and even homelessness reach a crisis point.
Since 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has handled more than 1 million calls, 143,000 text messages, and numerous online chats, and is credited with saving more than 39,000 lives. Responders can refer callers to Suicide Prevention Coordinators, who follow-up with Veterans and coordinate care. The suicide rate among those Veterans who seek mental health care through VA is lower than Veterans who do not seek such care.
Online resources are available to support the VA staff’s work with Veterans, including a self-check quiz, resource locator, and warning signs. Help raise awareness about these resources by visiting www.veteranscrisisline.net, and learn how you and your community can stand by Veterans and their loved ones and help prevent suicide.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can anonymously call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at www.veteranscrisisline.net, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.