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VA Salt Lake City says ‘suicide prevention is everyone’s business,’ and here’s how to help

Posted at 3:36 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 17:36:55-04

September is Suicide Prevention Month. VA Salt Lake City and their partners work year-round to prevent Veterans suicide. Tammy Joy Lane, author of Say Yes to Kindness shared more about this today on the show.

We've all heard the number; 20 Veterans die by suicide each day, but the number you may not have heard is 14 out of 20 are not receiving health care from VA. For this reason, the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System's suicide prevention team and the VA are taking a community approach to helping end this crisis.

You don't need special training to help prevent suicide, and even simple actions of support can make a real difference to a Veteran going through a difficult time. For instance, asking how a Veteran is doing; and listening; shows you care. Other thoughtful ways you can Be There include:
 Calling an old friend to say hello
 Sending a text to check in (for example, 'Hey, we haven't talked in a while ... how are you?')
 Reaching out and sharing resources when you read a social media post that may indicate thoughts of suicide
 Sharing stories of hope and positivity on your social media accounts

Attend this VA Salt Lake City Veterans Suicide Prevention Team Event

From Barely Surviving to Thriving
What: PRE-Appreciation: Saving lives by saying Thank You in Advance
Iraq War veteran, Suicide and MST Survivor, Mother of 3, and now Motivational Speaker and Author TAMMY JOY LANE will share her recovery story and ideas for how we can save lives.
When: 6 pm to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 18
Where: Building 9 Auditorium
George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center
*Event open to veterans, their friends and family, staff, and the general public.
Suicide is preventable, and each of these actions could help save a life. To end veteran suicide, we all must work together.
To find out more, call the Veterans' Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or visit

Michael Tragakis, PH.d, of the VA Salt Lake City told us more about the S.A.V.E. method of helping everyone remember the important steps involved in suicide prevention:

  1. Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognized.
  2. Ask the most important question of all.
  3. Validate the Veteran`s experience.
  4. Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help.

VA is actively reaching out to churches, universities, businesses, and other organizations to teach S.A.V.E. training in the community. For more info, email Michael at