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Military Connection: You Still Have “The Power of 1” By Debbie Gregory

Still power of 1In September, Military Connection announced the launch of “The Power of 1,” a campaign administered jointly by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The idea of the Power of 1 emphasizes the belief that one person has the power to recognize warning signs, intervene, create a dialogue, or make a phone call to save someone in crisis. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. It only takes one person or one single action to save another person’s life.

But as one suicide by a Veteran or member of the military is one too many, it is necessary to keep reminding those in crisis about the peer support and resources offered by the VA and the DOD.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in America among all ages and ethnicities. And it is unbearably high in military and Veteran communities. But by using the mentality instilled in service members since boot camp to look out for their comrades, the Power of 1 campaign is hoping to sharply reduce the number of suicides among active and former military members. It’s just a matter of looking out for one another.

Some indicators that your buddy may be considering suicide include talking about suicide, making plans, stockpiling medications, and withdrawing from people and activities that were previously enjoyable. People at risk for suicide could also be going through the loss of a loved one, relationship issues, financial difficulties, drug/alcohol problems, legal trouble, medical problems and more.

The Power of 1 campaign is designed to empower individuals who see these indicators, and give them the tools to help, and possibly save a life, just as they would have done in combat. The campaign encourages those needing help, or witnessing comrades in crisis, to utilize the many resources available, such as chaplains, military family life consultants, mental health clinics, peers, community support organizations, Vets4Warriors and especially the Military/Veterans Crisis Line.

When people call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, and press 1, they can have a confidential conversation with a peer counselor specifically trained to deal with any crisis or stresses the service member, Veteran, or family member may be facing. Calls to the crisis line are free, confidential, with trained professionals 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: You Still Have “The Power of 1” By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: “The Power of 1” By Debbie Gregory

powerof1September is Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide crosses all boundaries, including age, profession, gender, race and religion. In the military and Veteran communities, suicide claims hundreds of lives each year. It is for this reason that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are launching “The Power of 1” this month.

“The Power of 1” campaign is based on the idea that just one small act can save the life of a service member or Veteran in crisis. Just one  kindness, one person reaching out to another in need, could mean the difference between that person finding help instead of losing hope.

“The campaign emphasizes the effect that just one person, one conversation, or one act can have on the life of a Veteran or Service member by offering hope and opening the door to support,” said Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, Interim Under Secretary for Health.  “It also is designed to spread the word about VA and DOD mental health resources and suicide prevention efforts.”

“The Power of 1” focuses on the small, everyday actions that can play a pivotal role in improving, and possibly saving, a Veteran’s life. During the month of September, the campaign is broadcasting across the country via television, radio and social media. The VeteransCrisisLine.net will also offer “The Power of 1”  online, offering interactive tools that explain what the Veterans Crisis Line does, and how small acts make a difference.

The VA is also collaborating with community organizations, Veterans Service Organizations, and health care providers throughout Suicide Prevention Month.  There will be 151 VA Medical Centers across the country hosting local events, sponsoring health fairs, and working with the DOD to help spread the word and prevent suicides among service members and Veterans.

The goal of Suicide Prevention Month, “The Power of 1” campaign, and this coalition of supporters is to encourage service members, Veterans and the people in their lives to educate themselves about suicide risk, identify warning signs, and learn the steps to take during a time of crisis.

The Veterans Crisis Line offers telephone support, as well as online chat and text-messaging services. This confidential support from specially trained and experienced responders is complimentary. Any concerned party can contact the Veterans Crisis Line at (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1), chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or send a text to 838255.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: “The Power of 1” By Debbie Gregory