Suicide prevention for veterans - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Suicide prevention for veterans

Amarillo, TX - More services are now being offered in the Panhandle to help veterans cope with the aftermath of war.

Now technology is playing a crucial part in keeping suicide rates low.

There is a local push for prevention.

In 2009 the VA hospital started a suicide prevention program because of the high number of veterans needing help to deal with mental effects of war.

They say more people are now seeking help and the number of veterans on their high risk list are dropping.

A Facebook page has been created, allowing chats to be held throughout the community.

A veteran crisis hotline and text messaging service are also available 24/7.

These services allow veterans to be connected with a counselor and remain anonymous.

"I think for a lot of our veterans, they don't want to come out face-to-face and talk about their issues. So I think being able to address things electronically sometimes is safer for them," says Margaret Lair, Suicide Prevention Program, VA Hospital.

There's even a new smartphone app for post-traumatic distress syndrome. The VA says it's the most common illness veterans struggle with.

An app for suicide prevention is in the works.

The number for the Veteran Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.

Or you can text 838255 to also get help.

Or go to www.veteranscrisisline.net to participate in a confidential chat.

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