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22-a-day is Now 43-a-day: We Must Do Better

Every 65 minutes, at least one U.S. Military Veteran loses his or her battle to Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) or PTSD; that's roughly 43.3 veterans a day, which is up from 22 a day just two years ago.

Recently, someone close to me, a Marine Veteran, was in distress and our community rallied behind this individual to get him help. We utilized a tool I had never known about before: Veterans Crisis Line. The Veteran Crisis Line is open to all U.S. Military Veterans experiencing a crisis, and their family members, and enrollment with Veterans Affairs (VA) is not required; it's also free. Veterans in crisis or family members can dial 988 and press option 1, text 838255 or go online to http://www.veteranscrisisline.net to chat with someone who can get them connected to resources and help.

That Marine of mine, had a very severe CPTSD incident, which required the local sheriff to work with the local law enforcement to track him down, talk him off that ledge and get him the help he needed – all without incident. When someone from this line reaches out to law enforcement Veterans Crisis Line automatically lets dispatch know it's a veteran in crisis. The crisis line then asks local law enforcement agencies to send out specifically trained officers who can de-escalate a veteran in crisis.

In my experience, the Veterans Crisis Line worked amazingly quick by locating this Marine, asking for his truck keys and getting him to willingly go to the hospital for an evaluation.

The Veterans Crisis Line: 988, Option 1, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is free and the individual on the other end of the line is a qualified first responder – often a veteran themselves. The caller gets to share as much or as little information as they decide and only vital information is shared with responding agencies, if need be. However, support doesn't end with that singular moment of crisis – Veterans Crisis Line extends far beyond that moment and finds avenues of help that agencies, such as the VA, cannot provide.

According to the Military Suicide Awareness Project (MSAP), also known as "22-A-Day" campaign, the number of veteran suicides drastically increased from 22-a-day to roughly 43.3 a day after August 2021, and continues to steadily increase.

According to MSAP, active duty suicides were highest among Army personnel; the Marines and Army veterans report roughly the same number of veteran suicides per 100,000 each year.

The VA reports veterans battling CPTSD/PTSD and/or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have an increased risk of suicidal behavior.

For more information visit the VA, the local veteran resources or the Veteran Crisis Line – it could save a life.

 

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