VA North Texas Health Care System
VA North Texas to host National Suicide Prevention Symposium
September 16, 2013
DALLAS - The Suicide Prevention Team at VA North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS) takes another leap in the efforts to aid Veterans with suicide prevention. VANTHCS will host a National Suicide Prevention Symposium on Friday, September 20, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Texas Health Resources University in Dallas. The theme for the symposium is "Help, Hope and Healing from Suicide." Coordinators hope to raise awareness about suicide and encourage mental health professionals and the public to make a difference in the lives of Veterans.
Nationally recognized specialists in the field of suicidology will present information to attendees on suicide behaviors, prevention, therapies, treatments and grief. Speakers include: Major General Mark Graham; Carol Graham; Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington; and Kim Ruocco, National Director of Postvention Program for Survivors.
"Events like the National Suicide Prevention Symposium help engage our community of supporters and raise awareness about suicide," said Jeffery Milligan, Director of VA North Texas Health Care System. "We have specialized treatments and therapies available for Veterans with mental health needs and we stand ready to serve them."
To expand mental health care for Veterans, VA North Texas has hired more than 40 additional mental health clinical providers and extended mental health hours in Dallas, Bonham and Fort Worth. Veterans seeking mental health treatment in an emergency will be seen immediately.
"Our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our Veterans," Milligan said. "We encourage Veterans to enroll for the high quality mental health services they’ve earned and deserve."
Veterans in crisis, or their loved ones, are urged to call the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1), chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat or text to 838255 – even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. The Veterans Crisis Line, online chat and text-messaging services offer free, confidential support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to Veterans, their families and friends.
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VA North Texas Health Care System serves more than 113,000 patients each year, delivering more than 1.4 million outpatient visits to Veterans in 38 North Texas counties and two counties in southern Oklahoma.