September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the St. Cloud Veterans Administration is asking community leaders, colleagues and veterans’ families and friends to help prevent suicide by showing support for those who may be going through a difficult time.
Suicide affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 Americans, including more than 6,000 veterans, dying by suicide every year, the agency says.
The VA says one act of thoughtfulness can save a life. It advises reaching out to veterans in their lives by texting, cooking them dinner, or simply asking, “How are you?”
Warning signs of suicide include: talking about wanting to die or to killing themselves; looking for a way to kill themselves; talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live; talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain; talking about being a burden to others; increasing the use of alcohol or drugs; acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly; sleeping too little or too much; withdrawing; showing rage or seeking revenge and extreme mood swings.
Veterans in crisis or their loved ones can contact the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support at any time, at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, or text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.