The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has added two new
information summaries to its Together We Can series: ?Coping With a
Suicide Loss? and ?Talking to Children About a Suicide or Suicide
Attempt of Someone They Know.? In the wake of a suicide, family
members, friends, caregivers and co-workers may process grief
differently. Talking about what happened, expressing emotions, and
seeking the support of a mental health professional are important to
facilitate recovery.

“Coping With a Suicide Loss [2]”focuses on what Veterans, their
families, and caregivers can do in the aftermath of a suicide death. For
instance, bereaving Veterans, family members, and caregivers can contact
a Suicide Prevention Coordinator [3] at a local VA medical center, seek
out a mental health provider or local support group. You may also want
to consider participating in the VA Family Interview Program. VA?s
Family Interview Program seeks to better understand why Veterans die by
suicide to inform suicide prevention efforts and enhance care for all
Veterans. To participate more about VA?s Family Interview Program and
get more information, contact a Family Interview Coordinator at

“Talking to Children Who Have Been Affected By Suicide or Attempted
Suicide of Someone They Know [4]” provides important information on
how to talk to children of different ages about a suicide death or
attempt. Children experience the same emotions as adults but may be
unable to adequately process, verbalize or understand them. Talking to
children and allowing them to ask questions and guide the conversation
may help alleviate their concerns.

Access useful resources and information by downloading and sharing the
Together We Can information sheets on ?Coping With a Suicide Loss?
and ?Talking to Children Who Have Been Affected By Suicide or
Attempted Suicide of Someone They Know? here [5]. Check back every
month for new additions to the series.

The ?Together We Can: Suicide Prevention Information for Veterans,
Their Families, and Caregivers? series is backed by scientific
findings and explores some of the common suicide risk and protective
factors that affect Veterans. The series offers resources and practical
steps families and caregivers can take to  BE THERE  for a Veteran in
their lives. View the “Together We Can” series at [6].


The health and well-being of our nation?s Veterans and former service
members is VA?s highest priority. Guided by data and research, VA is
working with partners, Veterans? family members and friends, and the
community to ensure that Veterans and former service members get the
right care whenever they need it. To learn about the resources
available for Veterans and how you can Be There as a VA employee,
family member, friend, community partner, or clinician, visit[7].

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the
Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis
intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Call 1-800-273-8255 AND PRESS 1, text to 838255, or chat online at[8]. 

Reporters covering this issue can download VA’s Safe Messaging Best
Practices fact sheet[9] or visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.or [10] for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.

Some examples of VA?s suicide prevention resources and programs

* Expanding the Veterans Crisis Line [11] to three call centers and
more than 700 employees, increasing our ability to provide 24/7 support.
* Launching the S.A.V.E. online suicide prevention video [12] to help
everyone play a role in preventing Veteran suicide.
* Implementing the Mayor?s Challenge [13] to empower cities
nationwide to build coalitions to prevent Veteran suicide.
* Partnering with the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as
mandated by Executive Order 13822 [14], to support Veterans during their
transition from military to civilian life.

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