Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fair Use: Vet Services Report Increasing Calls To Suicide Hotline

The number for the suicide hot line is 1-800 273-TALK. Press 1 for vets.

KOAT TV: Calls To Suicide Hot Line On the Rise

More Veterans Seeking Help By Calling Hot Line

POSTED: 9:04 pm MDT April 7, 2010
UPDATED: 11:48 pm MDT April 7, 2010


New Mexico Department of Veteran's Services Dr. Brenda Mayne said that calls to the suicide hot line have been non-stop.

"People are calling just for support right then and there because of a bad nightmare or a flashback, something related to their service, and they want someone who understands to listen," said Mayne.

Statistics show the need for that support has risen in the past three months.
According to the New Mexico VA hospital, for all of 2009 they received about 2,000 calls. From January to March of this year, the hot line has already received 2,000 calls.

Mayne contributes the increase in calls to the rise of side effects from the war. From post traumatic stress disorder and violent flashbacks, to general inquiries about VA services.

"It's a growing population how many soldiers from Afghanistan to Iraq, a million-and-a-half I think, and they have to come home," said Mayne.

Earlier this year, soldier Kenneth Ellis was shot by police after he refused to put down his gun. There was no report showing that Ellis was suicidal. His family told Action 7 News that he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and had not been the same after returning from Iraq.

Officials said that having an 800 number in place for vets to combat problems like suicide is important, especially since vets are twice as likely to commit suicide than civilians.

The number for the suicide hot line is 1-800 273-TALK. Press 1 for vets.

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