3 websites to fight suicide

Jonathan Kaupanger
June 08, 2018 - 1:53 pm

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When somebody is thinking about ending their life, they’ve lost hope, they no longer feel part of a group or mission or a purpose. They feel like those around them would be better without them.

The Executive Director of VA’s Suicide Prevention program, Dr. Keita Franklin has three websites that will help train people on how to identify veterans at risk, and what to do if you interact with them.

S.A.V.E.

At psycharmor.org, S.A.V.E courses are taught by Dr. Megan McCarthy, deputy director of VA’s Suicide Prevention and will give you information so you can help prevent suicide. Through this training, you’ll learn about the ambivalence people experience when contemplating suicide.  You’ll even learn how to ask the question, “Are you thinking of ending your life?”

“We’ve had the opportunity to talk to those that have made an attempt and have survived,” says Franklin.  “They’ll tell you that as soon as they made the attempt, the instantaneous thought that went through their mind was the only think that I can’t reverse when it comes to my problems is the fact that I just made this attempt.”

Franklin says anybody can do something – you don’t have to be a mental health provider.  Anyone can instill hope in someone who’s struggling.  She says there’s no wrong door for care, but identifying someone who’s potentially at risk early is key.

Give an Hour

This is another good site to learn what to look for before it becomes a larger problem. Things like relationship problems, mental health symptoms, substance abuse symptoms, struggling with sleep to list a few.  Dr. Franklin says “I see clients who come in with very black and white thinking or that there’s only one way to solve something and that one way isn’t working for them so they think the only alternative is to end their life.”

Give an Hour has a large network of mental health professionals who offer counseling at no cost. The hope is to get help to those who need it BEFORE things get critical.

Be There

This program is through DoD and focuses on peer support. There are 20 to 25 factors at play when it comes to suicidal thoughts. It’s not that everyone needs to become an expert at spotting these, sometimes just being there for someone is all it takes.

“If someone is not acting like themselves,” says Franklin, “if you see someone coming in every day and start picking up on small subtle signs, it’s an important time that you just be there for them and ask how they are doing.”

If you are or someone you know is suicidal, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800.273.8255 and press 1.  You can chat online or send a text message to 838255 as well.

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