In “VA Suicide Assistance: From Hotline to Online,” Canandaigua Daily Messenger staff writer Julie Sherwood reports on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s new Veterans Chat service.
“This online feature is intended to reach out to all veterans who may or may not be enrolled in the VA health-care system and provide them with online access to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline,” stated Dr. Gerald Cross, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health,
If the person chatting is determined to be in crisis, the counselor can take immediate steps to transfer him or her the hotline, where the person can receive help in the form of further counseling, referral services and intervention.
Veterans retain anonymity by entering whatever names they choose once they enter the chat room. They are then joined by a counselor who is trained to provide information and respond to the caller’s requests and concerns.
- To access Veterans Chat:
- Go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Click on the “Veterans” tab in the left-hand menu.
- Click on the “Chat Live” button on the right.
- Read and check the box agreeing to the Terms of Service, which explain the confidential nature of the site and protocols of the Lifeline.
The veterans hotline can be accessed by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and pressing “1”.
[The abridged URL for this post is http://tinyurl.com/VetsChat .]