Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
Suicide Prevention Coordinators
Many Veterans may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves before doing so, but some actions can be a sign that a Veteran needs help.
If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is showing any warning signs, please reach out for help.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
VA also has information and resources available to educate and inform at http://maketheconnection.net/.
For someone in crisis, a locked firearm can mean the difference between a tragic outcome and a life saved. Though many Veterans are well-versed in gun safety, all Veterans and their families should understand how to properly handle and store firearms in the home. Download this gun safety guide for some simple steps to keep you and your family safe. Veterans are also encouraged to check into their local community resources for firearm and hunting safety courses.
To protect Veterans and their family members, VA endorses Project ChildSafe, a program that provides cable gun locks for free at VA medical facilities across the country. Gun safety locks not only help protect the lives of Veterans, but also their family members.
Veterans can pick up a gun lock from any check-in desk and/or nursing station at the Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center and CBOCs. The gun locks are also available from the VA Police and Suicide Prevention Office.
In collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, VA has developed an online training video that is available 24/7. Hosted by Dr. Megan McCarthy, VA's Deputy Director for Suicide Prevention, the S.A.V.E. training video describes how to talk with Veterans who may have suicidal thoughts and provides specific recommendations for what to do and say during these critical conversations.
"S.A.V.E." stands for "Signs," "Ask," "Validate," "Encourage," and "Expedite," the simple steps anyone can take in talking with Veterans at risk for suicide. VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators have led this course at VA facilities and community centers across the Nation. Extending this important training to the world is critical in our mission to be there for all Veterans.
The free training video is available to everyone at https://psycharmor.org/courses/s-a-v-e/.
- Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
Hours of Operation
- Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM