September is Suicide Prevention Month. VA is using the observation to raise awareness of Veteran suicide prevention and to highlight resources designed specifically for Veterans, family members and friends. In a new PSA, the Ad Council, VA, and Veteran filmmakers have partnered to encourage women Veterans to reach out for help when needed and remind them how to find the right VA resources.

Directed by Army Veteran Rebecca Murga, the PSA features a cast of Army and Marine Corps Veterans. Their conversation is one that women would realistically have in a gym. But the fact that they’re both real Veterans adds a great deal of authenticity to the conversation that many women Veterans have.

“We tailor our care for women Veterans, so it was natural to create a film dedicated to them,” said Dr. Matthew Miller, Air Force Veteran and VA’s national director of suicide prevention. “And authenticity is at a premium. We wanted to be true to women, and we believe a Veteran film team was key to delivering this.”

Women Veterans face unique challenges

Women Veterans are one of the fastest-growing Veteran groups in America. Now over two million strong, women Veterans continue to have distinct experiences during and after service. They face challenges like those of male Veterans, such as adjustment back to civilian life, physical and mental health, employment, etc. However, the women Veteran population faces some unique challenges as well.

No matter what you’re experiencing, treatments and resources are available. VA is dedicated to providing the best health care services to women Veterans, including comprehensive primary care, specialty care like reproductive services, rehabilitation, mental health, and treatment of military sexual trauma.

To further its effort to provide quality care to Veterans, VA continues to adapt care to meet the needs of women Veterans. Outreach and education to the American Veteran population is an integral part of this effort.

Partnering with Ad Council

VA partnered with the Ad Council to develop and launch a national communications campaign: “Don’t Wait. Reach Out.” The campaign, which has been active since October 2021, encourages Veterans to reach out for help before their challenges become overwhelming or reach a crisis point. This year’s PSAs are focused on the unique experiences of women and older Veterans. The second PSA featuring older Veterans will launch later this month.

All campaign PSAs direct audiences to VA.gov/REACH, a website that makes it easier for Veterans to find guidance and support services from across the full breadth of VA’s offerings. The PSAs will also be distributed via Veteran-targeted websites and the Ad Council’s network of over 1,850 broadcast TV stations and 9,500 radio stations across the country.

You can view the new PSA on Ad Council’s YouTube page here: Women Veterans :30 | Veterans Crisis Prevention – YouTube.

Women Veterans Call Center your guide to women’s health

The Women Veterans Call Center will help you navigate VA, point you in the right direction, and connect you with the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VA medical center.

This service is free and confidential, and you can call as many times as you need. If you are a woman Veteran, you may call for yourself, or anyone may call for a woman Veteran you know. All calls are answered by women, some of whom are Veterans themselves.

Call or text the Women Veterans Call Center at 855-VA-WOMEN (855-829-6636) or use the online chat feature. Women Veterans Call Center representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET, excluding federal holidays. If you contact the Women Veterans Call Center after hours and leave a message, you will receive a return call the next day the call center is open.

Trained women representatives can also help you with issues such as:

  • Enrolling in VA health care if you have not already;
  • Setting up a medical appointment in your area;
  • Answering questions about eligibility (including questions about disability ratings) and other VA benefits like employment, education, and home loans.

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. Dial 988 then Press 1, text 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

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Published on Sep. 13, 2022

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One Comment

  1. Sean Collins September 18, 2022 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    VA news is such a great resource. Thank you VA!

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