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Helping NAMI help Veterans

Veterans Crisis Line

NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness of TennesseeNashville, TN – NAMI members are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through education, awareness, and advocacy. As champions for mental health in our communities, we help spread the word about supports for people in crisis—including military Veterans who have served us so well. For many of these brave men and women, the Veterans Crisis Line is a vital resource.

It’s a confidential hotline and online chat service for Veterans and their families and friends who are in immediate need of support. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the Veterans Crisis Line connects them with specially trained responders—many of them Veterans themselves—who offer confidential support and referrals for VA and community-based services.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched a national campaign to tell Veterans and their families about this vital resource. “VA wants to be sure every Veteran knows about the caring, knowledgeable response the Veterans Crisis Line provides, but we can’t do it alone,” says Dr. Janet Kemp, National Director of VA’s Suicide Prevention Program. “We’re reaching out to the people and organizations that work with Veterans every day and who can personally recommend this critical resource.”

You can help make even more of a difference in the lives of Veterans by letting everyone in your networks know that this is available to Veterans, at no cost—even if they’re not registered with VA or VA health care. But the Veterans Crisis Line isn’t just for Veterans. Family members and friends concerned about a Veteran can also call or chat online and quickly connect with a trained VA professional who will listen and talk with them about any crisis situation.

For Veterans dealing with issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, depression, sleeplessness, substance abuse, anger or even homelessness, the Veterans Crisis Line can get them connected to resources, including fast-tracked VA health care services if they qualify. For any Veteran or Veteran’s family member or friend, the Veterans Crisis Line provides an immediate connection with a human being who will listen and talk through the situation and provide support.

Since its launch in 2007—originally as the Suicide Prevention Hotline—the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 450,000 calls and made more than 16,000 life-saving rescues. In 2009, VA added an online chat service that has already helped more than 20,000 people.

NAMI members can start using this valuable tool immediately. Visit the Veterans Crisis Line website at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net to learn more and download print-ready materials to post and share today. Let all of your contacts and Veterans you interact with know they can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255 and Press 1 or log onto the private, online chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net any time, anywhere.

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