Carl Vinson VA Medical Center raising awareness of its mental health resources

The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center is raising awareness of its mental health services during Suicide Prevention Month.

DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center is raising awareness of its mental health services during Suicide Prevention Month.

The center reports an increase in calls to their mental health services following the recent events in Afghanistan.

“When veterans feel seen and heard and they’re engaged in services that we can have a huge impact on a positive outcome in clinical care,” Suicide Prevention Coordinator Diana Hope-Baker said.

The center offers various resources to help veterans going through tough situations. Some of those resources include a veterans crisis line where you can talk to someone on the phone or through text. They also have peer specialists to help mentor veterans through the process.

“The goal is to increase awareness but also to allow individuals to know that we here at the VA want to support them,” Baker said. “Additionally, we have the outpatient mental health service line as well as the urgent care.”

Heather King is a veteran who attempted suicide, and recalls the moment she says she never wants to relive again. Through her journey, King says she benefited from the services at the VA.

King now gets to help others as a peer specialist.

“Back when I was real sick, I didn’t have a purpose,” she said. “Now I know that everyday I get the chance to give somebody back what was given to me. This is the hospital that saved me.”

King wants to let veterans know it’s okay to reach out for help. She had some encouraging words for those who are afraid to reach out.

“There are two acronyms for the word fear,” she said. “With fear you can forget everything and run or with fear you can face everything and recover.”

The center plans to host events through September to educate veterans and their families on the available resources.

To reach to veterans crisis line, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

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