VA adds chat service to suicide prevention plan

Published September 26, 2009 10:53 pm

The Suicide Prevention Campaign of the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its outreach to all veterans by piloting an online, one-to-one “chat service” for veterans who prefer reaching out for assistance using the Internet.   Called “Veterans Chat,” the new service enables veterans, their families and friends to go online where they can anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor. If a “chatter” is determined to be in a crisis, the counselor can take immediate steps to transfer the person to the VA Suicide Prevention Hotline, where further counseling and referral services are provided and crisis intervention steps can be taken.  Veterans, family members or friends can access Veterans Chat through the suicide prevention Web site (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org). There is a veterans tab on the left-hand side of the site that will take them directly to veteran resource information. On this page, they can see the hotline number (800) 273-TALK, and click on the Veterans Chat tab on the right side of the page to enter.  Veterans retain anonymity by entering whatever names they choose once they enter the one-on-one chat. They are then joined by a counselor who is trained to provide information and respond to the requests and concerns of the caller

http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/local/local_story_269235340.html

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