S.A.V.E. helps veterans in crisis

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Nearly two dozen veterans take their own lives every day, according to a study by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The Grand Junction VA and Mesa County Libraries are hoping to change that. They want people to remember the acronym S.A.V.E.

It stands for :
Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognized
Ask the most important question of all
Validate the Veteran’s experience
Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help

This little acronym could help a veteran fighting a battle you might not know about.

"The importance of doing operation S.A.V.E. here in Grand Junction is we live in an area that has a high rate of suicide for everyone, not just veterans," said Sonja Encke, a psychiatric nurse and suicide prevention coordinator at the Grand Junction VA Hospital. "At the VA we work with a high-risk population living in a high-risk area."

Experts said someone who could be considering harming themselves might seem hopeless, anxious, or could be using more alcohol or drugs, especially if they’re withdrawing from families and friends.

The VA wants to remind people that the Veterans Crisis Line is available to help. That number is 1-800-273-8255.

For places to contact, visit the links on the side of the article.

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