After more than a decade of war, there are many American heroes who served in the military with valor and distinction who are now bravely facing the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder when they return home. Every day, more than 20 vets who served in different conflicts commit suicide. But every day there are also vets who were contemplating suicide but were fortunate enough to contact the suicide hotline prevention number at the Veterans Crisis Line. Because of the good work of the people at the hotline, those vets emerged victorious in their battles against depression.
September brings Suicide Prevention Month, and the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are uniting behind a special campaign called "The Power of 1." A major part of this campaign is to bring attention to the Veterans Crisis Line and the suicide hotline.
If you are a vet who served our country, or if you are family or friend of a vet who served, it would be a service to all to spread the good word about where troubled vets can call for help.
To contact the suicide prevention hotline:
Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text 838255 for free, for confidential support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
I emphasize that when vets contact the crisis center, all conversations are strictly confidential and there is no cost whatsoever for vets who call. The crisis center offers profoundly important, and at times life-saving assistance, to vets who call.
Let's offer a standing ovation for all of those who served our country, and for all of those who offer their expertise and generosity to help them. So I offer the phone number and contact information here to spread the word to those who serve, and to those who want to serve them by offering support at a critical moment in their lives.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.