Veterans Day 2020: The day we honor the men and women who fought for our freedoms and risked their lives serving in the military.
This year, many veterans face extra stresses returning back to civilian life, especially in a pandemic and numerous national disasters and civil unrest.
Lisa Barry talks with Tyson Gatermann, Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, about concerns for the mental health of veterans this year.
There are some statistics that show veteran suicides have increased over last year, due to the pandemic and other concerns. Here are some of the signs to watch for in a veteran who may be considering suicide.
If you recognize any of the following signs of suicide in yourself or others, you should reach out for support:
- Feeling hopeless, trapped, or like there’s no way out.
- Having persistent or worsening trouble sleeping or eating.
- Feeling anxious or agitated.
- Feeling like there is no reason to live.
- Feeling rage or anger.
- Engaging in risky activities without thinking of the consequences.
- Increasing alcohol or drug misuse.
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
Gatermann says one way to show support to a veteran is just to listen. Many are feeling isolated, due to recommendations to socially distance due to the pandemic we are currently in. He suggests reaching out to a veteran to let them know you are available to talk and offer support.
Any veterans in need of assistance can call the Veterans Crisis Line, which is also the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255 (then press 1).
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