Soldiers traverse muddy farm patches near an Afghan home while on a patrol near Forward Operating Base Lightning, Paktya province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Aaron Ricca)
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VA Offers Suicide-Prevention Kits

U.S. Army Maj. Sam Fishburne (front) and Capt. Matthew Houston (middle), operations and plans advisers to the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 203rd Thunder Corps from 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and Sgt. 1st Class Levon Mursier (center rear), a military intelligence mentor to the ANA from the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, traverse muddy farm patches near an Afghan home while on a patrol near Forward Operating Base Lightning, Paktya province, Afghanistan, Feb. 20, 2013. The patrol was part of a mission to train ANA soldiers on radio communications. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Aaron Ricca/Released)

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering a suicide-prevention tool kit to help former Guard and Reserve members who were never federally activated.  

The tool kit, which includes assistance to their families and health care providers, features a variety of mental health and suicide prevention resources available through the VA and the community. These resources include online suicide prevention training, mobile apps that help manage daily stressors and supportive services for family members who are seeking care for former service members.

According to VA’s most recent analysis of Veteran suicide, there were 7,298 suicide deaths among current and former service members in 2016. Former Guard and Reserve members who were never federally activated accounted for 902 suicides, or about 10 percent of the total number of suicides among current and former service members.

“Extending support to former Guard and Reserve members at the community level is an important aspect of VA’s public health approach to preventing suicide,” said Dr. Keita Franklin, executive director for suicide prevention in VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. “We hope that you will take advantage of the resources included in this toolkit, which are here to support you and your families in times of need.”

To learn about the resources available for Veterans and how to #BeThere as a VA employee, family member, friend, community partner or clinician, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/resources.asp.

Contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.