LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It is a year round, toll free and confidential service available for all the veterans who have served our families and our country.
The Veterans Crisis line will help with any crisis at any time. The only thing veterans in Kentucky have to do is call.
The most extensive study on suicide to date conducted by the United States government found one U.S. veteran dies by his own hand every 65 minutes, with 22 deaths a day.
Dr. David Walker, a psychiatrist at Robley Rex VA Hospital said the worst thing for a soldier or his family members to do is, "to ignore it and think it'll just get better."
Brent Rice had experienced more than he could face in Iraq.
"I was in the First Platoon to cross over into Iraq on the night of March 19." He continued, "I guess I went into a different mode over there. I was a trained soldier."
Rice was different when he came home too. His own family didn't know him. They said he became homeless and suicidal.
His emotional pain overwhelmed his coping resources, but his mom was still ready to fight.
"She asked me what was wrong with me. I said I don't know, but I just don't want to live anymore," Rice explained. "So my mom picked up the phone."
Rice said, "I felt helpless, terrified. Something that any training you go through is not going to prepare you for."
Now the VA is prepared. For the very first time ever they are preventing a problem, not treating it.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with a qualified responder who may also be a veteran. The number is 1-800-273-8253.
For more information about Join the Voices of Recovery for Mental Health Awareness month, click here.
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