September is National Suicide Awareness Month. And today, the No. 1 issue facing those who served is veteran suicide. Let’s stop talking about how many veterans we are losing and start talking about the One we can save.
What To Know
1. The stigma associated with mental health issues is a barrier to veterans seeking assistance. They fear loss of their job, think they can handle their situation themselves, or don’t think others can understand their situation. (Through Be the One, The American Legion’s national campaign will destigmatize mental health issues and make it OK for veterans to ask for help).
2. Family members may be the first to recognize the signs that their veteran needs help, but they may lack the knowledge of how to approach the situation. (The American Legion will increase peer-to-peer education and resources for local communities, such as through Buddy Checks.)
3. There are several innovative programs either funded by the government or private non-governmental organizations that help veterans in crisis, but they often lack funding or broad-based visibility. (The American Legion is exploring ways to help these organizations amplify their efforts to help save more veterans.)
The American Legion needs your help in ending veteran suicide.
Be the One to:
- Ask veterans in your life how they are doing.
- Listen when a veteran needs to talk.
- Reach out when a veteran is struggling.
Pledge to Be the One at www.betheone.org by signing up for email updates.
Be the One to:
- Talk with others about how you are feeling.
- Ask for help when you know you need it.
If you are a veteran in crisis:
Call 988 and press 1