Local Good News: How the Memphis VA is working to prevent suicide among veterans

Local Good News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Every year mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise awareness of suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month. And, the Memphis VA is a part of that group. As Local 24 News weeknight anchor Katina Rankin tells us, their effort to save our veterans is local good news.   

The Memphis VA has a message for all of our veterans.

“We are here for you, whether it’s providers, whether it’s friends, whether it’s family. It’s a community effort that we are all a part of,” said VA Suicide Prevention Programs R. Eileen Todd.

September is suicide prevention month. And, R. Eileen Todd says the VA is working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention and to actions that can promote healing, help, and hope.

“We understand that we encounter stresses and feel overwhelmed several times throughout our life, and so rather than panicking and freaking out about that, is to make sure we’re working with our veterans to see what is going on with them,” said Todd.

Todd says suicide is preventable and special training is not needed to prevent suicide. So, everyone can play a role.

“We understand suicide prevention is not just a mental health issue. It’s not just an isolated sort of area. It involves everyone,” said Todd. “The VA is at the forefront of understanding and working to reduce the risk of suicide.”

And that’s why Todd wants everyone to learn to recognize warning signs, show compassion to veterans in need and offer them support. In other words, just #bethere.

“Our veterans live in our communities. They are our friends, our family, our loved ones,” said Todd.

Their effort to help those who fought for our freedom is local good news.

Next week, we’ll take a look at a breakthrough medication that the VA is using to help veterans with opioid abuse use.

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