Salem encourages veterans to reach out for mental health assistance

mental health
(© dizain –

In conjunction with Suicide Prevention Month, the Salem VA Health Care System is raising awareness of its mental health resources available for veterans.

“Veterans are often used to being focused on helping others and show great resilience.  However, they have also often faced many significant stressors,” said Katie Foust, Suicide Prevention Case Manager and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. “We want them to know that reaching out for help is only an extension of their resilience, that there is hope for everyone, and that many excellent treatment options are available to them.  The Salem VA Health Care System prides itself on its mental health care. Whether a veteran needs an immediate connection through our Primary Care Mental Health Integration Program, ongoing care from one of our amazing staff psychologists or social workers, or residential treatment, help is available.”

Whether you’re a veteran or a veteran supporter, there are many ways to reach out:

  • Calling or texting a friend or fellow Veteran to talk about what they’re going through
  • Call the Salem VA Suicide Prevention Team at 540-982-2463 Ext. 2436
  • Walk into the main campus of the Medical Center or one of the Community Based Outpatient Clinics to access care through Primary Care Mental Health Integration
  • Call the Veterans and Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and then press 1 for 24/7 support from a trained responder who can also connect individuals directly to local Suicide Prevention
  • Make the Connection, where more than 600 Veterans and family members share their stories of strength and recovery
  • MyVA411, where Veterans, their families, and caregivers can call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) to easily access information on VA benefits and services
  • If you are a supporter, reach out, offer support, and encourage the Veterans you know to ask for help when they need it

VA also has resources to help veterans transitioning from the military or going through a difficult time in life. VA Solid Start connects veterans with qualified representatives who call three times during a veteran’s first year of separation to walk through benefits available. The Self-Check Assessment is a confidential, anonymous risk assessment veterans can use to help them understand if and how stress and depression are affecting them.

Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can get free, confidential support through the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans where trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Veterans do not have to be registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans.

Veterans and loved ones can also find additional, external resources on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services tool.

For more information and resources, visit

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text 838255, or chat online at Veterans don’t have to be enrolled in VA health care or registered with VA to use the Veterans Crisis Line.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news