The suicide prevention efforts of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are built around a network of compassionate, caring people across the country who are devoted to serving Veterans and their loved ones. Some of VA's most important work is done in your communities, where Suicide Prevention Coordinators (SPCs) connect Veterans and their families to local resources that can meet their unique needs and help them lead healthier lives.
VA's “After the Call” video showcases the SPCs who help Veterans at risk for suicide. SPCs from around the country share their experiences, talking about how they came to work at VA, their personal connection to their work and their communities, and their pride in helping Veterans who are going through a difficult time. Like many SPCs, Gary Cunha has lived through Veterans' challenges himself:
“I received counseling after I got out of the Marine Corps. Having been through that experience and knowing that it works for me, I'm a firm believer in what it is that I do. So when a Veteran comes to me and says, ‘You know what, Gar, if it wasn't for you, I'm pretty sure I'd be dead,' I get a chill up and down my spine.”
More than 300 SPCs at VA medical facilities across the country work closely with Veterans dealing with mental health challenges and difficult life experiences. SPCs follow up with and coordinate care for Veterans who have been directly referred to them by responders at the Veterans Crisis Line. They also spread the word about VA's suicide prevention resources by attending community events and connecting Veterans with local partner organizations.
Please watch and share “After the Call” to spread the word about the people behind VA's suicide prevention efforts. Your actions could help save a life. If you or someone you know is in need of local support, find and contact your SPC at VeteransCrisisLine.net/ResourceLocator. For immediate help through a crisis, Veterans or concerned family members or friends of a Veteran can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1, using the online chat, or texting to 838255. These services provide free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.