September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and we want to raise awareness on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from this complex and tragic health issue.
In 2007 the VA established The Veterans Crisis Line, it is a free, confidential, 24-hour hotline for Veterans and their families/friends. Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis line has answered more than 1.25 million calls and made more than 39,000 lifesaving rescues. To reach someone right away you can dial a number and speak with someone, send a text, or just as easily start an online chat.
A recent report found that those receiving care from the VA had a 16 % decrease in suicide. Learning and watching for signs of concerning behavior can help you and your loved ones get help!
Some signs of concerning behavior include:
- Hopelessness, feeling like there is no way out
- Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
- Feeling like there is no reason to live
- Rage or anger
- Engaging in risky activities without thinking
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from family and friends
If you notice any signs of concerning behavior here are some things you can do:
- Start a conversation: Mention the signs that prompted you to talk to them. Stay calm and let the person know you want to help them. Don’t leave the person alone.
- Listen, express concern and reassure the individual: Let the person know you care and that you take the situation seriously. Letting the person know you care will go a long way in establishing a support system.
- Create a safety plan: Ask the person if they have access to anything that could harm them and call for help if you feel the situation is dangerous.
- Get the individual help: Provide resources for the individual. Call the Veteran’s crisis line at 1(800)-273-8255. Or if you feel the situation is severe, take the individual to the closest emergency room or call for help.
Individuals experiencing such thoughts and behavior can make simple yet effective lifestyle changes to help alleviate these harmful thoughts and behavior. These can include getting exercise, taking time off of work, and spending time with friends and family to avoid isolation. Ultimately, anyone at risk or feeling uneasy should talk to their health care provider.
American Soldier Network would like to thank all of our donors and volunteers who made this our 12th annual Christmas SWAG Bags for our combat wounded ill and injured active duty military possible!
We delivered over 250 bags filled with goods to our heroes this Christmas at the Naval Hospital of San Diego and to the Wounded Warrior Battalion West on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Joining us this year were
- Tito Ortiz, Champion fighter
- Actor, Model and Actress Amber Nicole Miller
- Actor David James Elliott
- Designer, Actor and owner of Bands 4 Arms Nick Mendoza III
- Former Green Beret now Hotelier, Author and Personality Larry Broughton
- Gold Star Mother Laura Ostrom
- and a special thanks to our Sandbox Santa!
Truly a special day had by all. Our ASN Volunteers Trai Yadon, Annie Nelson, Carol Nelson and Junior Rodriguez helped deliver the bags as well.
Rolling Thunder 2017 participation with Actor/Patriot Robert Patrick & our founder Annie Nelson RIDE TO REMEMBER DC 5/28/2017
ASN's own Annie Nelson and Actor Robert Patrick RIDE to REMEMBER in the 30th anniversary of Rolling Thunder 2017 in Washington DC. We Will Never Forget.
Our Documentary Short “Vets Helping Vets ~ A Medal of Honor Surprise” is recognized & premiered in the 2017 GI Film Festival DC 5/26/2017
ASN and Annie Nelson were thrilled to have our short "Vets Helping Vets A Medal of Honor Surprise" premired at the 2017 GI Film Festival in Washington DC. Such a great day and thrilled our partners Toyota USA could join us for the festivities...
Patriotic Pups Eddy & Hazel Kick off the National Anthem with US Army First Sgt Anthony Ball at Pouchini In the Park 4/30/2017
Eddy and Hazel-our Patriotic Pups-along with US Army First Sgt present the National Anthem at the Pouchini in the Park event. Such a great day to be spreading patriotism and gratitude for our veterans and military!
Team ASN finish the FINAL 5 miles with Army Veteran Ernesto Rodriguez cross country walk to end Soldier/Veteran Suicide 4/19/2017
Team ASN was proud to walk alongside US Army Veteran Ernesto Rodriguez as he finished his cross country walk to raise awareness for the plight of veteran/military suicide in the USA. We finished the final 5 miles to the Santa Monica Pier with Ernesto! Such a great day...
ASN was honored to be a part of the grand 105th birthday celebration aboard the USS Midway for WWII Master Chief Ray Chavez! Title Sponsor Jeff Senor and CTS Called to Serve and ASN was proud to be one of the contributing sponsors and supporters on such a special day!
Warrior Trials Camp Pendleton Provide Celebrity support Jack Scalia and closing ceremony speaker Kevin Sorbo 3/10/2017 – 3/15/2017
ASN annual support of the Warrior Trials on Camp Pendleton ~ provided morale boost and support to our wounded warriors and allied forces as they competed in the Warrior Trials. We engaged celebrity support and provided the celebrity speaker for the closing ceremonies...
American Soldier Network for the 10th year in a row delivered our SWAG Bagsbags to our combat wounded ill and injured heroes hospitalized and at the Wounded Warrior Battalion on Camp Pendleton. This year Tito Ortiz the People's Champ, Actor Nick Searcy, NFL Star Adam...
Our Founder Annie Nelson bet with Congresswomen and daughter of a Marine Mimi Walters and Mission Viejo Mayor Wendy Bucknum to discuss veterans issues especially veteran/military suicide in the USA and brain health issues.
ASN proud supporter of this years first Brad Rich Invitational Wheelchair Basketball tournament in San Diego CA. We provided lunch for all the wheelchair athletes on the day of the finals!
ASN annual Hearts For Heroes Valentine outreach this year a dinner and entertainment evening for the combat wounded ill and injured Marines & Sailors stationed at Camp Pendleton Wounded Warrior Battalion West. Our heroes and their families enjoyed, dinner, live...