VA Medical Centers encourage veterans to reach out for mental health assistance

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. – In conjunction with Suicide Prevention Month, White River Junction and Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Centers are raising awareness of its mental health resources available for veterans.

“Suicide prevention is a community effort not just in September but all year round. White River Junction VA Healthcare System is grateful to our many community partners throughout Vermont and New Hampshire who collaborate with us, every day, in working to prevent suicide deaths amongst veterans,” said Dr. Brett Rusch, White River Junction VA Healthcare System executive director. “Suicide prevention remains a top clinical priority for the VA, and we cannot do it without the coordination and commitment of our community partners.”

“Because we take a medical center wide approach to suicide prevention, it is my expectation that regardless of the Manchester program or staff person you reach, we can connect you with the care you need,” said Kevin Forrest, director of the Manchester VA Medical Center. “Every door is the right door for you. We want you to reach out. Whether veterans are looking for peer-to-peer support, clinical care, counseling, or something else, VA is here to help. VA and community resources can help veterans through life’s challenges, especially our current environment.”

Whether you’re a veteran or a veteran supporter, there are many ways to reach out like calling or texting a friend or fellow veteran to talk about what they’re going through.

Tap into VA tools to get help when going through life’s challenges:

  • White River Junction VA same-day access at all sites. Call 802-295-9363 ext. 5760 during the day, and the Veterans Crisis Line at night and on weekends.
  • Manchester VA same day access. Call 603-624-4366 ext. 3199 during the day, and the Veterans Crisis Line at night and on weekends.
  • 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.

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