Texas Veterans Blog
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Texas Veterans Blog

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Every suicide is a devastating loss. For each death, there is tremendous pain felt by loved ones left behind who often contemplate the warning signs missed before. September, National Suicide Prevention Month, is dedicated to raising awareness of the resources available for those who have considered or are considering self-harm. As Chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board, I have made it my mission this month to ensure that we continue to have our Veterans’ backs, especially when it comes to their mental health.

Among Americans, Veterans are among the highest cohort for suicide. Unfortunately, Texas is no stranger to this statistic. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in 2019 alone, a staggering 514 Texas Veterans died by suicide. It is incredibly difficult to comprehend how so many men and women who have sacrificed so much and dedicated their lives to defending our nation from its enemies end up feeling hopeless and without the confidence that they can overcome their mental health problems. No Veteran should feel this way.

As an Afghanistan Veteran myself, I know firsthand what life overseas looks like. For career servicemembers returning home from war, or even individuals who only knew garrison life, military service is a tremendous sacrifice and can take its toll over time. The stresses associated with life in the military combined with work-life balance struggles or financial responsibilities can provide any number of reasons for Veterans to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, as we continue to raise awareness of suicide prevention, we are taking critical strides to eradicate the stigma associated with addressing mental health issues.

No Veteran should ever feel like they have nowhere to turn in times of crisis. For those who are seeking self-help, there has never been an easier way to obtain it. Checking in with a battle buddy or knowing online resources can save lives. The VLB’s mission is to serve Texas Veterans and ensure they receive the benefits they deserve. We are committed to this responsibility, and this honor of ours is only possible if we take care of these Veterans’ well-being. Suicide prevention must be prioritized if we are to end future tragedies. Here are a few resources for Veterans seeking help:

- VA Mental Health

- Veterans Crisis Line

o 1–800–273–8255, press 1

- Texas DHSS Mental Health Program for Veterans

- TEXVET Mental Health Resources

If you are a Veteran in need, or know a Veteran in need, never hesitate to seek help. May we continue to pray for the safety and wellbeing of Veterans, servicemembers, and their families.

God Bless Texas,

George P. Bush, Chairman Texas Veterans Land Board