If you or a loved one is experiencing an emergency or crisis, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month.
At least 45,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year according to the CDC. Left behind are friends, family members, and in the case of service members, fellow soldiers and shipmates. Project Sanctuary knows all too well the struggle of veterans and suicide and the pain of those left behind dealing with the tragedy of loss.
September is a time to share resources and information. Veterans have higher rates of suicide than the general public. Individuals, friends, and families should educate themselves about the risk factors and how to address them. Talking about suicide can be difficult, but it's one of the most important things we can all do to prevent it. Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal doesn’t increase suicidal thoughts or actions.
Project Sanctuary is proud to announce two innovative programs to assist with this difficult issue. First, the Cohen Veterans Network (https://www.coloradodepressioncenter.org/mfc/) is offering a free class offering Mental Health First Aid Courses through at no-cost to the community. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), is a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.
Secondly, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5502) has announced it is partnering with OnStar’s emergency services to improve access to suicide prevention resources for Veterans. This partnership will offer Veterans in crisis the opportunity to be transferred to around-the-clock, confidential support via VA’s Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) when they use the emergency services button in an OnStar-equipped vehicle or OnStar Guardian smartphone app.
Every Project Sanctuary therapeutic retreat creates a safe environment where trust has been established for veterans and their families. Retreats also offer connection, community, and hope to combat some of the common risk factors for suicide.
Our Post Traumatic Growth class pays special attention to suicide prevention. Adults learn and share coping mechanisms and resources during class while our Teen Group curriculum is an age-appropriate way for young adults to learn about PTS' impact.
Project Sanctuary encourages our veterans and family members to seek connection and community with others to avoid isolation, to address underlying causes by engaging in the mental health system, and by making resources available for suicide prevention.
If you or your family would like to access our comprehensive family support services, which include referrals to low- to no-cost mental healthcare, reach out to Project Sanctuary at [email protected].
Please keep in mind that Project Sanctuary is not a crisis intervention organization or hotline; in an emergency or crisis, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)
If you are grieving the loss of a fallen service member, or if you know someone who can use support, the TAPS 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline (https://www.taps.org/mission) is always available toll-free with loving support and resources at 800-959-TAPS (8277).
Remember, suicide is never the solution. Help is always available to you.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) or Text 838255
Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
Vets4Warriors (confidential peer support): 1-855-838-8255
#BeThere Campaign from the VA
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