Veterans News Blog

Vets Issues

VA’s Suicide Prevention Message

VA's Suicide Prevention Message Carried on 21,000 Buses
 
 

 

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2009) – The telephone number for the suicide
prevention "lifeline" of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now
being carried on more than 21,000 city buses in 124 communities across
the United States and will run until Sept. 1, 2009.

 

The advertisements carry a message of hope for those who have served
their country and are undergoing an emotional crisis.

 

"We continue to look for new, innovative ways to reach our Veterans,"
Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth said. "VA wants to make sure to
exhaust all avenues to reach those in need of our services."

 

VA is partnering with Blu Line Media, an outdoor advertising company
which specializes in helping businesses and government tell their
stories through educational outreach campaigns, cause-related social
marketing and integrated communications.

 

Since its inception in July 2007, the VA Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1
800-273-TALK, has rescued more than 3,000 Veterans and provided
counseling for more than 120,000 Veterans and their loved ones at home
and overseas.  The lifeline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week
by trained mental health professionals prepared to deal with immediate
crises.

 

Marketing the lifeline through mass transit campaigns was piloted in the
Washington D.C. area during the summer of 2008 with great success.

 

VA has also promoted awareness of the toll-free number through national
public service announcements featuring actor Gary Sinise and television
journalist Deborah Norville.  The bus advertisement and public service
announcements are available for download via YouTube and at
www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention

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