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Still in the Fight
In Honor of World Suicide Prevention Day: Make it Your Mission to #BeThere

By Brandi Harrigan | Wounded Warrior Regiment | September 10, 2018


We all play a role in supporting loved ones who are struggling with their mental health, but it’s not easy to know where to start. This September, Suicide Prevention Month, is the ideal time to learn how to better understand suicide and how you can help prevent it. By starting the conversation and recognizing risks early, we can all reduce the number of service members, veterans, friends and family members lost to suicide.

We spoke to WWR mental health advisor, Debbie Paxton, M.S.N., RN and WWR psychological health advisor, Jennifer Dwyer, M.A., CP, LPC about what we should know in our efforts to take care of one another:


What are the most common factors that contribute to suicidal thoughts/behaviors?

There is no one answer to this question as suicidal thoughts/behaviors are brought on by a confluence of factors, stressors, and influences. A family history of suicide, history of abuse/neglect/trauma, substance use and abuse, and times of transition/separation are all common factors.


How can we all take steps to promote personal resilience?

Personal resilience is developed by taking care of ourselves—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Some examples of self-care include: problem solving, staying flexible/adaptable, spending time with people you enjoy, seeking support, engaging in hobbies, staying physically fit, and maintaining a sense of humor.


The Defense Suicide Prevention Office’s theme for this year’s Suicide Prevention Month is #BeThere. What can we all do to #BeThere?

You can #BeThere to listen, to support, and to assist. Do not turn a blind eye or deaf ear to a person in need. Even if you cannot help, #BeThere until the person gets connected with the help they need.


Learn about the warning signs of suicide and ACT (Ask, Care, Treat). For more information about simple everyday actions that can save lives, visit: https://t.co/bxkjmfsKjw.


Veteran Affairs (VA) Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources

In alignment with Suicide Prevention Month, on September 13 at 1p.m. EDT, the VA and Veterans of Foreign Wars team up for a Facebook Live event. Representatives plan to discuss VA mental health services and suicide prevention, how to recognize the need for care and where to find help. Learn more about available support and have your questions answered in the comments section following the video. To register and receive event notifications visit Explore.VA.gov/events.


This event is part of the “#ExploreVA: From Service to Success” online series highlighting how Veterans and their families use VA benefits and services. These benefits help Veterans earn degrees, start careers, buy homes, stay healthy and more. Visit Explore.VA.gov for information on events, resources and how to apply for VA benefits. For the Facebook Live event, visit: http://bit.ly/2MIWtaE.


How to Reach out for Help

Remember, you are not alone – it is our mission to #BeThere for you. If you or someone you know needs help, reach out to one of the following resources:

  • Military Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255
  • Sergeant Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center: Call 1-877-487-6299
  • #BeThere Peer assistance Line: Call 1-844-357-7337 or text 480-360-6188
  • Navy Chaplain Corps: Call 1-855-628-9311

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